At the back of the room, the hollow voice of Tony, 75, resonates: “Since you ask me my name, Cyclops, I’ll tell you!” » Installed on his stool, this seasoned storyteller passionately declaims the adventures of Ulysses, in The odyssey, in front of her small audience: Manon, 21 years old and Marine, 26 years old, but also Françoise, Guy and Marcelle, all three retired. Between two board games and glasses of lemonade, these septuagenarians came to shelter from the sun beating down on the Croix-Rousse plateau, in the city center of Lyon (Rhône), on this late Tuesday heatwave in September. All are regulars at Chez Daddy. This café, which looks like a cheerful tavern, attracts dozens of retirees every day looking for a moment of conviviality. Recipe ? “A welcome like at home and non-stop activities,” explains Éveline, 74 years old. Once a week, she makes the trip from Villeurbanne, in the Lyon suburbs, to meet friends: “At our age, I don’t know of any other places where we can, with complete confidence, go out, mingle with others and have fun like anyone else. »
More than sixty activities
The café offers around sixty activities ranging from knitting to philosophy, including yoga for the most flexible and musical awakening for the youngest. “Here, it’s not like elsewhere: we’re not afraid to approach new generations,” Rolland jokes half-heartedly.
The daytime program mainly attracts retirees, but they are joined by families on Wednesday afternoons or by young adults when the café turns into a bar on Thursday evenings. Of the 3,500 members, 60% are under 60 and 40% are seniors.
To reach those who feel further away, due to a physical incapacity or a psychological blockage, partnerships have been established with neighborhood establishments, such as the Canuts nursing home, and municipal action centers. social security of the different districts. “We also offer personalized follow-up with a call schedule, but most members do it naturally,” rejoices Philippe Albanel.
While public authorities have long focused their efforts on taking care of the dependency of the elderly, he believes in socialization as “prevention”. While waiting to create its own residences – in particular to solidify the economic model of the association, today based on subsidies – Chez Daddy is multiplying its impact through a growing network: after the opening of a second place the year last, in Lyon, the team plans to open 13 new cafes in Rhône-Alpes, from 2024.