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.
Horan, Kendall Adele
"College Companions: Undergraduate Students and Residents Unifying Experience,"
Mānoa Horizons: Vol. 3
, Article 15.
Available at: https://kahualike.manoa.hawaii.edu/horizons/vol3/iss1/15