Good news comes from a Spanish bookstore in Madrid. A beautiful initiative to give a small moment of relief to lonely elderly has been put in place.
The Soto del Real library has decided to provide a telephone reading service to support the elderly. This beautiful project of social proximity takes the name of "Bibliotherapy for the elderly" and has been active for several years, but in a different form.
In normal days, before the covid-19 pandemic, the volunteers used to go to the nursing homes and read stories and fairy tales to the elderly.
Unfortunately, that isn’t possible anymore for social distancing reasons but, if possible, the service has become even more necessary and has been transformed from real to virtual. The library has organized weekly telephone reading sessions of minimum 20 minutes. Each volunteer agrees with an elder on what he prefers to be read, according to his tastes.
Among the users who are making the best of the service is Chus López, a 70-year-old woman who has been living in a Madrid retirement home for three years. Interviewed by El País, she explained that she likes this service and told her volunteer that she likes love books.
The person in charge of the project is called Juan Sobrino and he is also the owner of the bookstore, together with him there are several volunteers who help him with the phone calls. Juan Sobrino told the Spanish newspaper El Pais: "We use the telephone and books to fight social isolation and we’ll keep on doing it until we can go back to live reading".
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Spanish bookstore reads books to the elderly over the phone due to covid
Calle Chozas de la Sierra, 28002 Madrid, Spain