Oasis Conversations that Count program helps older adults cope better with life’s transitions and reconnect with their community. One of the greatest challenges of retirement and later life is a decline in social support as older adults begin to lose touch with co-workers, friends or family. These life transitions – such as the loss of a spouse, loss of mobility, a move to a new home, and changes in health – can trigger feelings of loss and loneliness, and result in social isolation.
How peer groups help: Research shows that activity-based, group programs are more effective in reducing feelings of isolation. Since 2006, Oasis has held Conversations that Count groups which have assisted people who are coping with life transitions. Through 45-60 minute sessions, volunteers impact social isolation through inclusive discussions that address emotional, social and physical health.
Discussions often present opportunists for additional guest speakers or activity ideas. By working with the community, these types of programs can be offered in addition to the Conversations that Count groups and engage new participants in community activities.
Conversations that Count groups can be offered anywhere that adults gather including independent living, senior centers, libraries and faith-based communities. All that’s needed for a group to be successful is a quiet place with chairs in a circle for talking and listening.