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CSR: the unifying element of better aging in Europe

We often speak of the “Old Continent”. The fact is that “old Europe” has become and will be even more tomorrow the continent where demographic aging will be the most exacerbated. Therefore, making "aging better" a priority of general interest in Europe is more essential than anywhere else.

A ny reflection on sustainable development often starts with the following question: what world are we going to leave to our children? And the first thought is obviously to think about the state of the planet, pollution and global warming. However, alongside the climate challenge, the demographic transition must also be at the heart of the public debate as it will considerably upset the balance of our European societies.

To tackle the issue of aging in a transversal way, Colisee has one privilege: being present in several large European countries. However, beyond a few cultural peculiarities, nothing is more like a Belgian 90-year-old than a French, Italian or Spanish 90-year-old. Nothing fundamentally different either between a nurse based in Rome, Valencia, Brussels or Lyon.

In this context, the CSR approach takes on its full meaning since it constitutes the unifying element of the stakeholders of the Colisee group at the European level. Therefore, becoming a “societe a mission” is a new step in improving the quality of the support offered to the elderly, the quality of life at work and the protection of the environment. Short tour of Europe of operational priorities and good practices.

"A tremendous lever for action"

For Anne-Catherine Pechinot, director of Colisee France, "becoming a “societe a mission” is, from a managerial point of view, a tremendous lever for action and a cohesion tool for the teams". A lever that improves practices such as consulting residents and their families every quarter. On the family side, Colisee France is also deploying a solution called “Clic rendez-vous” to facilitate visits by relatives. On the employee side, the launch of a major "Zescore" social barometer, which will be carried out twice a year, is a significant step forward.

But progress is finding plenty of other fields of application. The fight against claims by continuing to equip French establishments with hammocks and transfer rails which benefit residents and employees alike. Protection of the environment is at stake thanks to a new “Car Policy” eliminating diesel, encouraging employees to use electric or hybrid vehicles or launching a study on the installation of charging electric stations in some establishments. Team protection, when Colisee signs the Charter for employers committed to road safety.

"Make every customer feel at home"

In Belgium, "we have been working on several axes in past weeks to make every customer feel at home," explains Filip Meyers, the national director, notably with the Wedoxa tool which allows customer satisfaction to be mapped. An obvious success with more than 5,500 opinions received in a few months, to which must be added the relaunch of the Armonea Experience program, seeking the quality of care in the largest sense.

From an environmental standpoint, Colisee Belgium has gone fully green on electric supply. Since January 2021, more than 50% of retirement homes are equipped with solar panels. As for vehicles, no more purchases of diesel and gasoline cars in favor of hybrids and all-electric cars.

The stakes are also promoting the "societe a mission” toward the Belgian authorities to show how seriously a private operator can take social responsibility, in addition to being a tool of excellence and motivation for employees.

"A way to make positive societal effects part of the company's DNA"

For Fabio Massimo Ragusa, director of Colisee Italy, becoming a “societe a mission” means that "having positive societal effects has become an integral part of the company’s DNA". A reflex which, he says, “will guide any initiative that we are going to undertake from now on”.

On the agenda: the launch of a staff training program in quality improvement, on the care relationship and team cohesion with a focus on the prevention of mistreatment. This training will be crowned with a pin representing two hands shaking together, a symbol of the pact between the professional and the resident.

Colisee Italy also organizes public events on better aging, with the ambition to be ready, when the epidemiological situation allows, to make nursing homes a gathering place for the communities and to contribute to the well-being of the elderly.

"Support our CSR message at local and national level"

And what does Gerard Sanfeliu, the director of Colisee in Spain, think? For him, this step taken “will help us by supporting our CSR message at local and national level”. On the operational side, the Spanish teams are focusing on the development of the Portal videocall platform, specially designed to facilitate relations between residents and families, as with the deployment of Wedoxa, the consultation platform for residents and their families, which is on the 2021 program. Another concrete objective: to set up spaces dedicated to people with neurodegenerative diseases. At the societal level, a collaboration with the Adecco Foundation is planned during the week of women’s right and the one of disabled people.

Concerning the protection of the environment, Spain is currently installing solar panels in 12 establishments, purchasing 10 hybrid cars for the headquarter, and increasing measurable recycling of waste, an operational system in all establishments in the Valencia region before being so throughout the country. Finally, the promotion of health and well-being is also on this year’s program, with a set of trainings and workshops in favor of cardiovascular health, quality food and physical activities, psychosocial well-being, rest hygiene and strengthening the immune system.

In short, in all countries, the expected effects are the same: that this new status allows a new bond of trust with all of the company's partners.
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About Colisée
With 16 000 collaborators, COLISEE Group is a leading European player with benchmark expertise in serving and caring for the elderly. Its network of medical facilities and residences with services in France, Belgium, Spain, Italy and China welcomes more than 25 000 residents and patients. Colisée offers also home services. Its majority shareholders are EQT and CDPQ.
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