±A - Join Our Community

Learn from the experiences of other expats and make new friends in our disccussion forums and Facebook groups

±A - Cigna

±A - Read Our Guide

The Expat Focus Guide to Moving Abroad contains everything you need to know when planning an international relocation available now, completely free

±A - Compare Quotes and Save

Insurance, FX and international movers

±A - Listen to the Podcast

The Expat Focus podcast features interviews with expats living abroad and service providers meeting their needs subscribe today!

±A - Expert Financial

From our tax, investment and FX partners

±A - ExpatFocus Partners

Expat Focus Partners

Become a Partner. Click Here.

Elderly Care

France - Elderly Care

There are several different options when it comes to choosing care for the elderly in France. There are different types of retirement and care homes as well as different care options for the elderly in their own home. If you are simply looking for a retirement village then you will find that France does not have many. Those that do exist are located mainly in the south of the country and only offer living facilities and activities, rather than any kind of daily care.

The general term for a retirement home in France is ‘maison de retraite’. These are often privately run, usually by businesses or ‘not for profit’ organisations. These might include insurance companies, foundations or even hotel chains. Those that are run by local authorities usually come under the direction of a hospital or the local council. It is the departmental council which sets the fees for retirement homes in their district. The council should also be able to provide you with information on care homes in your district that have English-speaking staff.

One way of finding a retirement home in your area is to contact the Mairie who will give you the details of the social worker who deals with retirement home placements. Homes offer varying degrees of medical care depending upon the needs of the individual. Those who simply want a home to retire to with only the minimum of care should opt for sheltered accommodation, known as ‘foyers-logements’ if they are run by the local authorities and ‘residences-services’ if they are run by a private enterprise. These are for those who are able bodies but who want to have people of a similar age and outlook living around them. They have their own self contained accommodation, usually an apartment, with a number of shared facilities.

If you are looking for a traditional retirement home then you need to look out for ‘etablissements d’hebergement pour personnes agées’ or ‘établissements d’hebergement pour personnes agées dependantes’ if they are dependent upon others for daily care. Accommodation is a room with shared dining and living facilities. Those who are considered to be dependent will have access to medical attention when they need it. This type of residential home is committed to providing a good level of care and they are inspected on a regular basis by the local authorities.

For those who need continuous care there are the ‘unites de soins de longue duree’ which offer long-term care. These are usually part of a hospital or clinic. Units known as 'Cantous' used to be available for long-term care of Alzheimer's and related conditions, however these are being phased out and replaced by 'Unités de vie protégée spécialisée Alzheimer'. These are small units that are separate from each other but integrated into a larger complex.

Some people may qualify for the APA (aide personnalisée à l’autonomie) benefit, which is aimed at helping people to live an independent life. This is given by local councils and may sometimes be referred to as the ADPA. It is designed to give people the resources they need to maintain a level of independence. It is available to people who are still living in their own home as well as to those who have already moved into some sort of retirement accommodation. It can be used to pay for things such as day care, specialist equipment or any modifications which are needed for the living environment. If you or an elderly relative may qualify for this benefit you can obtain the application forms from the local mairie or from the staff at the residential home you are living in. If you are living in a home the money is usually used to reduce the fees that you need to pay.

As an expat you may qualify for the benefit if you need help because of reduced physical or mental abilities, be at least 60 years old and have your main home in France. In the 12 months prior to your application you must have spent at least 6 months living in France. The amount that is payable is variable and will depend upon your income and the amount of help you need with day to day tasks.

Read more about this country

Expat Health Insurance Partners

Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.


Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.