Storytelling with Seniors – Meet Randy and Ervin

by Eric Corum

senior storytelling

Meet Randy Edwards. He’s a great listener and loves storytelling.

Ervin Waters was a traveling preacher when he met his wife, Mary. At 99-years-old, he recalls that fateful day with a gentle smile. Ervin’s mind is still sharp and he is lucky not to be affected by senior dementia (like Alzheimer’s) in the slightest.

From day one as his Helper Bee caregiver, Randy Edwards has encouraged Ervin to tell his stories from past adventures. One of Randy’s favorite stories to hear is of when Ervin first moved to Texas. Ervin and his family made the decision to pick up their roots and travel to The Lone Star state and did so with the help of their trusted horse and buggy cart.

He talks about how difficult it was to navigate due to the lack of street signs. “Can you imagine?” he said, in a way that would resonate with anyone who has struggled to reach a destination without the help of a map or technology.

Senior Storytelling. An old photograph of Ervin

An old photograph of Ervin W preaching. He used to travel all over the United States.

There’s a simple, yet extraordinary exchange of gratitude in the Waters household. Randy cares for him physically and Ervin shows his appreciation through storytelling. In the back corner of Waters’ living room, there’s a loving display of family photos and Father’s Day cards, showing just how much of an impact Ervin has made on those around him. In an age of digital memories, it’s nice to be reminded that the art of storytelling is still alive and incredibly useful for daily perspective.

 

Randy is a kind caregiver with a great passion for helping others.

It’s very clear through his interactions with Ervin, that he loves what he does and takes great pride in his work. He is very grateful to Ervin and Mary and all of the wonderful hospitality they have shown him while he spends six days during the week caring for Ervin, he is particularly impressed by Ervin’s storytelling abilities.

As author Philip Pullman once said, “After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.”

Throughout history, respected elders and seniors have been humanity’s storytellers. As we age, we gain more insight and go through more experiences, providing us with handfuls of stories to share. Storytelling is a powerful tool that can be used to build great relationships amongst other seniors and with caregivers. Even when the senior is affected by dementia (like Alzheimer’s Disease) there are techniques that caregivers can use to help a senior remember.

Caregiving companions like Randy have been wonderful additions to the Helper Bee family. Caregivers like Randy, are specialized in helping seniors with dementia such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. If you or a loved one is in need of assistance, please visit our website at thehelperbees.com or call us at 512-3279-5456.
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