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Older Generations reminisce on tough times with a smile

Bethanie Kingsley Aged Care Home residents have been occupying their time by reminiscing about the past and how the current challenges of COVID-19 compare to things that happened to them in their lives.

93 year old Aileen Williams has been very involved in these discussions, sharing her stories of The Great Depression in the 1920’s and 30’s and World War II and how they rationed their food in order to cope with what was facing them on a day to day basis.

Aileen has been digging out some old memorabilia including ration tickets and song books to share with staff and her fellow residents. She shares how they coped and her advice in such times as those we are facing now.

“The rationing went on for a long time and everyone just worked together, helped each other and shared. Hard times like these bring out the best in people to help them pull through and all the songs helped people cope too.
“We all used to learn them, and we’d have singalongs. And if you have a look at these books you can see that they all come with jokes attached. It’s really important to have a good laugh. About anything really.”

Bethanie Kingsley Physiotherapist Naomi Van Bentum asked Aileen whether toilet paper was included in the rationing packs and she snorted and said,

“There was no such thing as toilet paper back then. Well, maybe in the fanciest hotels but I think it really didn’t come in until after the war. We just used to use the newspaper. Or if you had yellow pages you would drill a hole in the corner, hang it up and tear off pages as you needed them.”

Residents at Bethanie Kingsley will continue to reminisce and are looking at using some of Aileen’s song books to get extra singalongs going as well as bringing in a joke of the day.

Naomi Van Bentum says,

“We already have a few comedian residents who tell us a joke as we pass them in the hallway – we’ll just share it around a bit more. Keeping spirits high at times like these is our main priority.”
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