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The Importance of Storytelling in Aged Care

The Importance of Storytelling in Aged Care

Humans are born, bred, & hard wired to tell stories. Our cultures & civilisations were built on it.

Not only does it allow us to share important information but to also form genuine connections through emotion and connect with our wider communities.

If someone tells you a statistic, you may take it within its context, but it’s not likely to stick with you on a deeper level. If someone tells you a story that’s relatable, personal, and emotive, you’re not only likely to remember it but to then go on and tell someone else that same story yourself.

This is the positive power of storytelling. It’s a powerful means of connecting and sharing, thus beneficial for all parties involved.

When it comes to the aged care industry, storytelling has become more crucial than ever.

Aged Care Misconceptions

We believe there are two common misconceptions that hinder the industry and its fostering of connections with the broader community. These misconceptions could both be rectified with more genuine positive story telling.

The first is created by the negative news cycle. When there is a lack of positive storytelling coming from facilities, staff members, and residents the narrative gets taken over by the media. This lack of storytelling leaves a grey area in the discussion surrounding aged care, and every aged care facility is characterised by the failings of a few.

We need to fill this grey area between reality and biased media with the real life, inspiring stories we know exist in the aged care industry. If we do not tell these stories, someone else will speak for us.

The second misconception is the idea or notion that we should only care about aged care when we are forced to engage with it. In other words, many people won’t engage with the industry until they themselves are much older. We know there is far more reason for you and for the general public to pay attention to the industry than this.

When it comes to effective storytelling there are four types of stories we should be telling more of:

The Origin Story 

The why behind what you do, why you do it, and how it all started. It’s important to talk about how your facility started and how it got to where it is now. This is also a great chance to talk about why your facility came to be. What passion led you here and what needs did you set out to serve. It’s a great chance to be transparent and talk about the challenges you’ve faced and overcome along the way. You can also use this as a chance to talk about moving forward.

An example of this type of story is the video below – Mat’s Story:

The Employee Story

No facility would be what it is without the internal staff who keep it running daily. These people are the backbone of your business. They often have inspiring stories to tell too. It’s also a chance for them to talk about why they chose the industry and your facility in particular. Celebrate the heroes on your team.

A great example of the employee story is Siobhan’s story from Whiddon:

The Customer Story

Your residents bring what you do to life. They have often lived rich and interesting lives before they arrived at your facility, and these stories should be shared. This is also a great way to find out why your residents chose your facility.

This inspirational story from Lucy, a resident at Bupa Berwick, is a great example:

Aged Care Australia

A Story Of Change

This is the story of you and your facility’s vision. It is important to acknowledge and even honour the past but it is also incredibly valuable to talk about the changes ahead. After all, this affects your employees, residents, businesses, and the wider community.

If you’d like to learn more about the importance of storytelling and how to better implement it yourself get in touch for information here.

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