The value of giving seniors a voice

To produce its new report on the impact of the Covid 19 crisis on seniors, the French association Petits Frères des Pauvres based its findings on interviews with people aged 61 to 99 living in institutions or at home.

By Yann Lasnier, Executive Director of Petits Frères des Pauvres

“Giving a voice to the elderly is at the heart of the actions of the Petits Frères des Pauvres. The visits of our volunteers are based on exchange, allowing those who no longer have many people around them to express themselves and confide in us about what they are experiencing. All our collective actions, although limited at the moment, give pride of place to moments of conviviality where everyone can speak out. Our relationships are also built around this speech, taking care to facilitate those of the elderly.

Our elders have a lot to say, and not only about health or retirement issues. The testimonies of life that we collect are rich and the oldest are not left out, far from it!

They tell us about the health crisis and its consequences with its share of misunderstandings and sufferings, a subject that monopolizes us all at the moment. But beyond their legitimate concerns after more than a complicated year, they talk about their memories, their vision of the world, their wish that they not be considered only as fragile people or “objects of care”, their hopes, their desire to find their friends, their loved ones, to make plans such as going on vacation or to find their associative activities.

Giving a voice to seniors is a determining moment for them to feel valued and still considered as full citizens. The more we offer seniors special times to listen and express themselves, the more we will consider that maintaining social ties is vital until the end of life, the more we will be able to build a society where everyone finds their place in society more easily and respects each other. ”

In conclusion, here is what Victor recently shared with us “The world after, for me, is the hope of greater brotherhood, of a community of humans who care and are attentive to each other, to one another. ”

Source : Column on RCF radio, March 26, 2021

Photo credit : AdobeStock

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