The ancient French system of viager

The deal to sell your home and get paid to stay

“We all know what it takes to sell a home: freshly brewed coffee, the smell of baking bread in the oven - but if you’re buying under the ancient French system of viager you’d do better with a pile of medicine bottles in the bathroom cabinet and a nasty-sounding cough.”

This article is very interesting. I wonder how different this system is from the notorious(?) reverse mortgage.
“5 Reasons to Avoid a Reverse Mortgage”
http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/on-retirement/2012/12/11/5-reasons-to-avoid-a-reverse-mortgage