Combating Social Isolation in Older Adults An Intergenerational Nursing Communication Project

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The importance of social connection to health and well-being has long been recognized. Social isolation is prevalent and impactful in the lives of older adults across care settings. A semesterlong communication-focused clinical project was developed and piloted with sophomore Bachelor of Nursing Science students during Fall 2020 and replicated in Fall 2021 and 2022. Students were paired with older adult volunteers/mentors from a senior living organization and contacted mentors every 2 weeks over the 15-week semester. Older adult volunteers served as mentors, sharing their wisdom and life experiences. Students practiced their communication skills and learned about their mentor’s life. Pre-and post-activity surveys of student attitudes toward older adults/ aging suggested a dramatic and positive shift in perspective, and mentors rated the experience highly favorably. Intergenerational communication and relationship building has the potential to combat social isolation, promote healing and growth, and enable mutually beneficial engagement. [Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, 61(10), 7-11.].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-11
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of psychosocial nursing and mental health services
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2023

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