“It takes the loneliness away!”: Residents helping residents reduce social isolation Inside every lonely adult is a kid eating lunch by herself on a bench.” The Globe and Mail writes that social isolation is a looming crisis. Studies indicate one out of two residents in residential senior care report feeling lonely, despite our best efforts and recreation calendars filled with programs. A growing body of research documents the effectiveness of peer support in community services but these groups are rare within residential senior care. The presenter will describe an innovative peer support approach using a program called the Java Music Club as an example, along with evaluations of its implementation in organizations within Canada and the US. The webinar format will include a program walk through, along with implementation processes and research results. Attendees will leave with a takeaway strategy on how to engage residents and volunteers in helping reduce these critical levels of loneliness.
Presented by: Kristine Theurer
Kristine Theurer is a researcher and has worked in the long-term care sector for over 20 years. She has pioneered the use of standardized peer support groups within senior residential care. Kristine is a published author of a number of research articles, the most recent of which The Need for a Social Revolution in Residential Care in the Journal of Aging Studies. She is a PhD candidate at the University of British Columbia and recipient of numerous research awards including the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada doctoral grant and the University of British Columbia Public Scholars Initiative.