Research continues to show benefits for seniors who write. These include memory enhancement; improvement of comprehension and communication skills; stress reduction; and increased self-confidence, self-discipline, and even emotional intelligence. And sharing with fellow writers is an added bonus.
Enter Pickersgill’s Writing Group, a dozen or so residents who have been coming together every Friday afternoon for the past three years to share stories they’ve written about their lives. Initially a gathering of people who like to write but may need a little nudge, the group has become so much more. It’s a warm, supportive family composed of very different people who have lived through many similar experiences.
Each week group members share what they wrote during the week. There is always a suggested assignment, and the topics span the spectrum, from holidays to happiness to milestones to favorite books and music. Some topics are tougher than others; writing about parents proved difficult for some. Not everyone writes every week, and not everyone writes on the assigned topic. Everyone does share though, and discussions are lively and funny and poignant.
The group has celebrated birthdays (two members are 98) and mourned the departure of others. But every Friday when they gather aches and pains are temporarily forgotten while sharing stories and laughter.