Lonely Christmas in a nursing home? Klaus Köller (91) gives hope


The picture of Klaus Köller moves to tears.

Berlin – The 91-year-old sits behind a door on his rollator. He’ll spend the holidays so lonely. But his message to the many older Berliners who share his fate gives hope: “You are not alone,” he says.

The former pastor lives in a senior citizens’ home run by the Stephanus Foundation in Berlin-Weißensee and is not visited at Christmas.

Many people are like him. For fear of infection, many stay at home over the holidays. Probably only a few will be picked up by their relatives over the holidays this year. According to BILD information, several facilities have subsequently imposed a quarantine obligation.

Means: The residents are not allowed to leave their room for five days after returning.

“Now with Corona, none of that works anymore”

For Klaus Köller, that was out of the question. He misses the beautiful Advent times of the past. The senior always celebrated with his wife, with whom he was married for over 60 years. They lived together in the home for ten years and were always visited by their daughters and grandchildren over the holidays. “Now with Corona, none of that works anymore,” he says.

One of his three daughters has already brought him presents. Katharina is the youngest and comes every four to six weeks. The others less often.

His beloved wife passed away last year. The advanced dementia had torn both of them apart beforehand. “At some point it was no longer possible to communicate,” says Köller thoughtfully. “I always sang to her anyway.”

Even today music helps him against sadness. “I take my violin and play Christmas carols,” said the pensioner. “My fingers still run wonderfully.”

He also tries to make the most of the festival in other ways: “I will read, listen to music, go to church services and unwrap presents.”

One of his three daughters has already brought presents to Köller

Photo: © Peter Müller BILD

At Christmas in particular, Köller always looks back on his eventful life. “I was with the Hitler Youth and they wanted us to volunteer for the SS,” he says. “But that was out of the question for me.” Then he was kicked out.

But there were also many wonderful moments: “I was with my wife in Israel and bathed in the Red Sea.”

Then he becomes a little thoughtful again. Walking is becoming increasingly difficult for him. “I like to sit on the wooden swing and swing back and forth,” says Köller, takes a deep breath and emphasizes: “I am a grateful and happy person.”

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