86-yr-old moves into tent in nursing home's garden

The Local Norway
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86-yr-old moves into tent in nursing home's garden
Lørenskog nursing home in Akerhus county. Photo: Lørenskog municipality

An 86-year-old man in Norway has decided to spend his summer living in the small two-man tent he has set up in the garden of the old people’s home where he lives.


“When the weather’s good, you can do no better,” Per Sønsteby told Norway’s state broadcaster NRK. “It’s comfortable enough, but I admit that it’s a bit tiring. I am very stubborn.”

Sønsteby told reporters that he had the idea after being seduced by an advert for a tent he saw on television. He then jumped on his cycle and biked into the nearby town of Lørenskog, in Akerhus county near Oslo, to buy it.

“I rode away to the shop, but there they were sold out. In the second shop, they had both the tent and a sleeping bag. It was a very good bargain,” he said.

The tent cost him 200 kroner and the sleeping bag slightly more than that. He has also filled the tent with garden cushions borrowed from the home.  

“I think he’s enjoying himself out there,” Nanna Werner, head nurse at Lørenskog nursing home, told NRK. “I think it gives a feeling of freedom and self-determination.”

Sønsteby moved into the old people’s home six months ago and while he is still active enough to be able to cycle into town, he told NRK that he was not in good enough shape to be able to camp out in nature, or go on a cycle tour, making camping in the home’s garden a good compromise.

“I do not have access to the Internet here and that is the only downside,” he said. “The nursing home should get better coverage outside the house.”

Arnfinn Gisle Berg, the home’s manager, said that the home had no objections to Sønsteby’s summer plans. 

“This is the first time we have had campers here, but I have given clear instructions that there must be  silence on the campsite after midnight,” he said.


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