What is the Need?

Social isolation is linked to increased rates of loneliness and suicide, hypertension and other physical health effects, and has been identified as a public health priority.

Loneliness and social isolation are cited as having negative health impacts equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

$6.7 Billion

LONELINESS COSTS MEDICARE AN ESTIMATED $6.7 BILLION ANNUALLY

Source: Lynda Flowers, Ari Houser, Claire Noel-Miller, AARP Public Policy Institute, Jonathan Shaw, Jay Bhattacharya, Lena Schoemaker, Stanford University, Monica Farid, Harvard University, November 27, 2017.

Rewriting the Story

The intergenerational TELLEGACY program helps change this narrative by keeping older adults connected and engaged – reinforcing that their story is one to be told.

Our University students, known as Legacy Builders, connect weekly with older adults via phone or through virtual visits, providing a sense of hope and purpose.

WHAT MAKES TELLEGACY DIFFERENT?

Tellegacy is intentional about relationships and investing in what matters.

Reminiscence Therapy Foundations Approach

Reminiscence is a large part of telling one’s life story, which is an important part of healthy aging and wellness, as shown by over 100 studies.  

Reminiscence and reviewing one’s life have been found to:

  • Improve social interaction

  • Increase life satisfaction

  • Improve older adult / staff relations

  • Reduce geriatric depression

  • Increase orientation 

  • Assist with cognitive orientation 

INCREASE SENSE OF PURPOSE AND MEANING

Sources: Critical Advances in Reminiscence Work, Jeffrey Webster and Barbara Haight, 2003. Transformational Reminiscence, John Kunz and Florence Gray Soltys, 2007.

Mindfulness Approach

Mindfulness is the practice of maintaining a moment-to-moment awareness and attention of one’s thoughts, emotions, and sets the stage mentally for positive change.

The curriculum was strategically designed to create a community that valued each stage of the human condition. This is an important component in training our future healthcare providers, so that primary care workers have a deeper connection to the understanding that each patient has a unique story and their place in society matters.

THEIR STORY MATTERS

Source: Utay, & Miller, 2006.

Goal-Setting and Visualization

Goal-Setting is known to facilitate increased motivation, a sense of meaning, greater focus / decisiveness, and a sense of achievement.

Visualization in goal-setting utilizes the demonstrable abilities of sight, sound, feeling and emotion.

Visualization has been used for centuries and the technique is an established approach in medicine and traditions as well as other healing practices.

PROVIDING A SENSE OF HOPE 

Source: Treadway & Lazar, 2009.

Growth Mindset

Carol Dweck’s Growth Mindset practices, especially beneficial to underprivileged individuals, are implemented in this program, as individuals with growth mindset live less stressful lives and are more likely to persevere in the face of difficulty.

Such approaches help others reframe their circumstances as opportunities for growth, rather than insurmountable challenges.

Over time, these growth-mindset behaviors compound, and individuals who have a growth mindset have improved relationships, increased confidence, and a greater sense of achievement.

DISCOVER THE POTENTIAL OF A CONVERSATION

Legacy Book

  • Available for all members that complete at least 5 sessions
  • Tangible result of conversations representing legacy and longevity
  • Printed copy presented to resident as a celebration
  • Digital copy available to share with family members and caregivers

  • Encompasses stories from older adult and impressions from Legacy Builders
  • Reinforces all that was discussed
  • Opportunity to engage family members and caregivers

A PERMANENT REMINDER THAT THEIR STORY MATTERS

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Curriculum includes trainings are how to foster an environment that supports diversity equity and inclusion of older adults.  The EEOC has reported age as the one critical element overlooked by a majority of companies in diversity and inclusion (D&I) programs and efforts. A study found that 64% of firms surveyed in its 2015 Annual Global CEO survey had diversity and inclusion strategies, yet only 8% of those included age.  We train our Legacy Builders to be cognizant of age, but not to use age as a means of stereotyping, stigmatizing, or discriminating.  We train students to find human commonalities before defaulting to exclusive language and behaviors based on ageism.

As the program is intergenerational, interdisciplinary, and intentional, these practices help reinforce Diversity Equity and Inclusion initiatives, language and outcomes.

Dr. Jeremy Holloway provides additional consultations and workshops for colleges in this area.