The benefits of storytelling for seniors
Storytelling has health benefits for older people
Research into the benefits of storytelling for seniors demonstrates that there are a number of health benefits for people who both share and listen to stories. In one study, when time was taken to listen to the valuable stories and life lessons of the older population, nurses developed a better understanding of their patients while their patients recall special memories and feel proud of their lives.
The Life Review Group Program (LRGP) (Chiang et al., 2008), has been proven to increase self-esteem and life satisfaction among older adults. LRGP consists of discussions about different aspects of a person’s life, including memories from childhood and adolescence, the person’s family, job, friends, and greatest accomplishments, with a final discussion to summarise the life review.
My dad used to play fourth division football (soccer) for Portsmouth, he was a goalie and whenever he sits and watches football his head is always boobing to keep the ball away from the goal net. In 2008 Dad and I were in England together and he took me to his old club and showed me around and then we drove to his ‘digs’ where he lived as a teenager.
This is just one of many stories that my dad has told me and every time someone mentions football, the World Cup or a goalie I am immediately transported to thinking about my dad and his football stories. When we were growing up we always had a gathering for the ‘FA Cup’ the English Football Grand Final, there was always plates of food, cool drink and we could ‘stay up’ and watch the game.
I love stories because they help us to connect and to reminisce, when I listen to Dads stories I see him in a new light, his is able to transport me to when he was young and I see that twinkle in his eye as he recalls all the things he loves about the game of football. With the World Cup this year it gave me and Dad the opportunity to recall when we were at ‘his club’ in Portsmouth.
This story is part of my Dad’s legacy, it is part of who he is and what is important to him.
At Southcare, we understand the importance of telling stories. If you would like to have a safe, fun and inclusive space to share your stories, contact Southcare Social Centre on 9450 6233.