As the pandemic drags on, social isolation has become a real problem for many people. Limited visits to see our loved ones, particularly seniors, has resulted in long periods of loneliness and boredom for those affected.
I have had the pleasure of working with Bertram, an 84 year-old widower, who lives alone. During the worst of lockdown, he could only talk to his children and grandchildren from the safety of his front door. He couldn’t even meet his newest great grandchild.
We established a regular day and time for a phone call to discuss his life. He told me that it was a highlight in his week and that our discussions prompted him to think more about his life and brought back memories. “You’ve made me think about my life, and that’s great” he told me. His family were also delighted that he had a project that was meaningful and fulfilling.
While story-telling won’t solve issues of isolation, loneliness and boredom, being engaged in telling your life history and thinking about your memories can be an enjoyable part of many people’s weeks.
Bertram with his newest great grandchild, Evie-Grace.