I recently had the pleasure of visiting old Quebec City, one of the most charming cities in North America. Amongst its many charms is a funicular which for those of you who are unfamiliar, is an elevator that goes up and down a rock face. In this situation the funicular descended to rue Petit Champlain though you cannot see the street from the top. While waiting for the funicular I observed a senior couple standing in line to purchase tickets. The husband very patiently explained what they would be getting on and why, however the woman appeared quite apprehensive and questioned “what are we doing? Where are we going? Why?” Reluctantly the woman agreed to go and all was fine until she entered the car. Before the doors closed, she tried to undo her husband’s grip and stamped her foot and insisted “I am not going”. All looked on but no one made a move to help.
Given my work experience with Memory Matters, I stepped up and spoke to the woman. The woman turned to see my smile and returned it. Without touching her, I said “would you like to keep me company here at the back? I’ve decided to watch the rail, instead of the view from the front because I’m not comfortable looking down the hill.” She took a step back and we both stood facing the tracks on the hill. I described, in some detail, what was awaiting us in terms of shops and gastronomic delights and she listened intently. The ride was short and pleasant. When the doors opened and all filed out, her husband thanked me for my help. Other riders acknowledged me and even asked me for a restaurant recommendation. They were surprised to hear that I could not recommend anything specific as I had not been there myself in almost 30 years. It felt good to be able to help with alleviating another person’s anxiety. My education and experience with Ann (Memory Matters) has developed a greater awareness and sensitivity in me which is useful every day, everywhere.
Penny Corbin, Longstanding Team Member, Memory Matters