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College Companions: Undergraduate Students and Residents Unifying Experience

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Title:College Companions: Undergraduate Students and Residents Unifying Experience
Authors:Horan, Kendall Adele
Date Issued:15 Nov 2018
Abstract:Loneliness is a rising epidemic among older adults (Hudson, 2017). The United States is advancing in treatments, medicine and technology but still loneliness is a problem. A solution to address individuals’ lack of social connections, a fundamental component of human nature, remains out of reach. Does cultivating community connection act as a cure to loneliness? This research illustrates the feasibility and evolution of relationships among undergraduate students and residents of an assisted-living facility. A service-learning intergenerational visiting program to increase social connections between a group of older and younger adults was created to investigate this hypothesis. Qualitative data from digital storytelling, field notes from observations, and open-ended questionnaires indicate that the undergraduate students and residents created strong positive reciprocal relationships over time. Programs with college students could help eliminate the loneliness in assisted-living facilities. This project highlights the need for more intergenerational programs that specifically utilize the undergraduate student population.
Appears in Collections: Horizons, Volume 3

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