Sharing Stories, Sharing Life

Exchange stories to promote the social integration of lonely older people. In particular, people who have had few educational opportunities in their lives and have only limited digital competence should benefit from this.

Photo: handwritten diary with old picture of a couple; LIFEtool research project Sharing Stories, Sharing Life

Loneliness is a serious problem for older people in Europe. In the Netherlands there are over 4.1 million people aged 55 and over. More than 25% of them feel lonely. Of these, 200,000 feel extremely lonely: they only have social contact once a month (TNS/NIPO, 2012). In the UK, more than half of all people aged 75 and over live alone, 2 million people. 1.2 million elderly people in the UK have chronic feelings of loneliness (Age UK, 2016). Chronic feelings of loneliness can plunge people into a spiral of social exclusion. 

Storytelling can help people understand their purpose in life and connect them to their social environment. We constantly use stories to inform, connect with others or share our feelings and experiences.  Stories are used to organize our thoughts, to find meaning and purpose and to create a sense of identity in this sometimes lonely world. The Sharing Stories, Sharing Life project aims to use these principles of storytelling to develop a training concept against loneliness.    

Aims

The main aim of the Sharing Stories, Sharing Life project is to support the social integration of lonely older people, especially older people with a low level of education and few digital skills. The project will develop a training that uses storytelling and helps people to share their stories. Especially for people with poor literacy skills, storytelling can offer new opportunities to share feelings, develop social skills and prevent social exclusion. Taking into account their needs, our project aims to develop e-training that can be used both online and offline. The training includes personal support from volunteers/professionals while taking advantage of digital solutions to capture and process stories. The aim is to accompany, reach and motivate lonely older people through this training.

Cooperation Partner

  • LIFEtool gemeinnützige GmbH 
  • Netural GmbH
  • National Foundation for the Elderly (NL)
  • Cambridge City Council (UK)
  • RBS-Center fir Altersfroen (LUX)
  • Contact

    Stefan Schürz BSc, cPMA
    Researcher

    T +43 664 235 17 43
    stefan.schuerz@lifetool.at

    Term

    01.09.2018 - 31.08.2021

  • Project Type

    European project
  • Support Program