What a wonderful thing to say! And I'm sure it works, too, and he's probably one of the few 83 yr olds who is simply out like a light when he goes to bed.
It's very hard because we have not been training up new confessors. I think there are some young men who would probably like to do this, but they have older pastors who were developed in the post-VII "we're all perfect children of God" mentality. Therefore they are not permitted to hear confessions more than 1/2 hour per week (on their rotation, which might be only once or twice a month). This doesn't give them a lot of experience or encouragement.
I think your comments are spot on Livius. Most priests just haven't gotten the proper training and teaching about confession!