Calling your grandparents to talk about anything and everything or an elderly neighbor to discuss the weather… conversations that may seem trivial but are in fact vitally important… Petits Frères des Pauvres reveals why, in an article published in July 2021
“Is the weather going to be nice this weekend?” or “What did you eat for lunch?“… a conversation that seems useless and a waste of time? Yet… these conversations actually have many benefits.
According to a study published in 2014 from Columbia University in Canada, entitled “Social Interactions and Well-Being: the Surprising Power of Weak Ties” the simple act of greeting an acquaintance, or having a quick conversation with a neighbor or waiter, makes us happier.
“Small talk helps build trust and create a rapport with someone…which can eventually become a closer, meaningful relationship later on,” says Jessica Methot, associate professor of human resource management at Rutgers University.
Our isolated seniors are craving small talk and big talk, and the health crisis has exacerbated their isolation.
“For an older person, the phone is important. You have to understand that!” proclaims Fabienne, 89.
Indeed, for isolated elderly people who often live alone, the telephone appears to be the only way to stay in touch and especially to exchange a few words during the day.
“To be listened to is to feel valued, interesting and therefore alive,” emphasizes Colette.
Having a “little” conversation with an elderly neighbor who is waiting in front of the elevator, for example, or at the supermarket is within everyone’s reach. You don’t need to have something to say or to master a topic of conversation: the weather has always been an inexhaustible topic.
Photo Credit: William Jezequel / Petits Frères des Pauvres