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Xenia House Leiden

In the Netherlands, the options available to young people aged between 16 and 40 who require intensive or palliative nursing and medical care include the traditional hospices outside the city, where the average life expectancy is three months and the average age is eighty. Or... the Xenia House, a guest house and hospice for young people in the centre of Leiden.

Nurse Jacqueline Bouts discovered a blind spot in palliative care provision from her own practical experience. She adapted her house to meet the needs of young people who require intensive care due to oncological, haematological or neurological illnesses, muscle diseases or respiratory problems. The Xenia House is able to accommodate six guests, who can stay for short or long periods. It means the carer can be relieved temporarily, or the young person in need of care can take a breather in a different environment. The average age of both the guests and staff is much lower than in traditional palliative care centres. Due to the location of Xenia House in the old city centre of Leiden, a student city, a large number of the volunteers are students and peers. The architecture of the new building has also been adapted to appeal to the age group. What’s more, the Xenia House is located near urban facilities and programmes that meet the needs of young people.

The Xenia Foundation aims to shift care from the large, specialist institutions outside the city to a small-scale, homely setting in the city. Xenia House also creates added value for the urban environment. As part of the residential project, the area around the house was designed as a public space.

The Xenia House project won the Golden Pyramid Prize in 2016 for innovative commissioning in spatial projects. Jacqueline Bouts, together with her partner architect Piet van Veen, formed an initiative group. She did this in association with Els van Berkel, then coordinator of the regional Palliative Care Network, and architect Erik van Tussenbroek. The group entered into a partnership with the Leiden Student Housing Foundation (later merged with the student housing company DUWO). The building was constructed as a base build by DUWO, which is now the owner and rents it to Xenia. The furnishings and operations are financed by the Xenia Foundation. It relies heavily on the Friends of Xenia, a foundation that recruits donors and sponsors.

The Xenia Foundation is currently working on setting up a second home in Zwolle. Its aim is for Xenia to meet the care needs of the north-eastern Netherlands, once again in an urban setting.

partners and actors
Jacqueline Bouts, Piet Van Veen, Erik van Tussenbroek, Els van Berkel, Stichting Leiden Student Housing Association, DUWO
theme
care, housing
innovative aspects
financing, cultural change
scale
building, district, region


slideshow
Xenia House Leiden in the spotlight
Xenia House Leiden is a small-scale palliative care centre for young people in the heart of the student city of Leiden.

https://i.vimeocdn.com/video/603340470-716c215025176dec4c10655ab8e008294a7408423591f6be1a87516a4f3cfb01-d_640
videoGolden Pyramid 2016 Stichting Xenia hospice (foundation) for young people in Leiden
Based on her experience as a paediatric nurse, Jacqueline Bouts decided to tackle the blind spots of healthcare herself by setting up the Xenia Foundation. The foundation works together with, among others, student housing provider DUWO and the 'Friends of Xenia', who donate financial resources to furnish and run Xenia House.


Golden Pyramid 2016 Stichting Xenia hospice (foundation) for young people in Leiden

Based on her experience as a paediatric nurse, Jacqueline Bouts decided to tackle the blind spots of healthcare herself by setting up the Xenia Foundation. The foundation works together with, among others, student housing provider DUWO and the 'Friends of Xenia', who donate financial resources to furnish and run Xenia House.



photo: Gouden Piramide, 2016

Xenia take a look in 2020
videoXenia take a look in 2020
The aim of Xenia House is to offer a home in a lively, urban context to young people from the region who need intensive care.


Xenia take a look in 2020

The aim of Xenia House is to offer a home in a lively, urban context to young people from the region who need intensive care.



photo: Xenia Huis Leiden, 2020

Golden Pyramid podcast about the Xenia House in Leiden
articleGolden Pyramid podcast about the Xenia House in Leiden
Because of the location of Xenia House in the old city centre of Leiden, a student city, a large proportion of the volunteers are students and peers. The architecture and furnishings are also adapted to appeal to the age group.


Golden Pyramid podcast about the Xenia House in Leiden


photo: Gouden Piramide, Geert Kloppenburg, 2016

fileStichting Xenia hospice (foundation) for young people
Xenia House is the only residential home in the Netherlands aimed at the 16-40 age group. The Xenia Foundation would like to continue its efforts for this age group. One of the things it is currently doing is developing a small number of independent homes for young people with disabilities, with care facilities nearby.

download / view PDF:
Stichting Xenia hospice (foundation) for young people



fileWhen life is more rewarding than death
While an average hospice is often located in a remote and quiet area, this central location in Leiden - with a pub, student centre and cinema just around the corner - was a deliberate choice by founder Jacqueline Bouts. This way, young people can receive the right care in an environment that not only meets their care needs, but also their social needs.

download / view PDF:
When life is more rewarding than death