INTERGENERATIONAL LINKAGES: FIGHTING LONELINESS IN THE ERA OF COVID-19 AND BEYOND
While preventive and management measures are important to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, strategies like social distancing can have devastating effects on older adults who are already at risk for social isolation and loneliness.
In response, the Humana Institute launched an initiative to address social isolation and loneliness among community-dwelling Houston area seniors. This initiative connects older adults in the Houston area to college students.
Intergenerational linkages offer bidirectional benefits:
Older adults impart life lessons, and in return, students offer virtual companionship and connect seniors to local resources that they may need.
With many in-person field training opportunities cancelled, it provides virtual clinical opportunities for health professions students to apply classroom knowledge and theoretical concepts in a real-world setting. Specifically, this program supplements clinical field opportunities and promotes the development of students engagement, assessment and referral, and overall professional skills.