As loneliness and lack of physical contact have been on the rise in nursing home since the beginning of the pandemic, a Belgian "touch therapist" struggles daily to try to improve older residents' well being. Sebastien Vandenberghe has been using his hands for 20 years as a tool for sharing, soothing and healing in several care institutions in Belgium, yet his services had never seemed to him as salutary as today.
Each of his visits is warmly welcomed by residents for whom Sebastien is not only a therapist, but also a friend or even a son or grandson of substitution for some.
"Thanks to him, I'm 10 years younger and I take less medication (...) Every time he leaves I'm almost in mourning because I'm afraid I won't have the human contact that I have with him (...) I'm alone in the world and loneliness is killing me," says one resident.
"Touch is the last sense we have left when we have lost all our other faculties. It is the purest sense (...) it is a fundamental human need", stresses the therapist.
Read more in this article in French