NEWS:

On the last day of 2020, the 300th story milestone was accomplished and published on Wij & corona (translated into Us & corona). On this Dutch story platform experiences of older people during these trying corona times are shared. With this we give the voice of seniors a stage and support and inspire each other! For example, Willem (71) tells how he tries to stay fit at home and Maarten (77), who is a heart patient and must be extra careful.

Exceptional times

It is a strange, uncertain and frightening time, especially for healthcare organizations and older people. The coronavirus largely freezes public life. The measures to keep distance from each other and to stay at home drastically changes our lives. How do seniors in the Netherlands experience these exceptional times? What do they worry about, what gives them hope and comfort, how do they spend the day?

Very diverse experiences

At the end of March 2020, Leyden Academy and the Get Oud foundation started Wij & corona (https://wijencorona.nl/), to offer older people – who are relatively hard hit by the virus and the corona measures – a platform to share their experiences and thus support and inspire each other. We could not have imagined then that the pandemic would last so long and that more than 300 people would entrust their personal stories to us. We shared the experiences of elderly people from all over the Netherlands and from all walks of life: from a hermit to a bon vivant, from an elderly football supporter to a retired care administrator. We also published stories of care givers, which give an inside on the hard reality of corona.

In search for more stories

Thanks to our collaboration with HelpAge International and ILC Japan, we have also been able to give an impression of how elderly people in other parts of the world experience the corona time. As long as corona continues to dominate our daily lives, we will continue to collect and publish the stories of the elderly. Do you have any tips for people we can interview or do you want to share your story yourself, let us know (koemans@leydenacademy.nl)!

Special thanks to the funds that helped make and make this initiative possible: Jo Visser Fund, Sluyterman van Loo Fund, RCOAK Foundation and Fund 1818.

Prepared by:

Yvonne Schinkel-Koemans, Communication Associate
ILC Netherlands and Leyden Academy on Vitality and Ageing
koemans@leydenacademy.nl

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