Abigail DeBay

Abigail completed her Social Connectedness Action Team project with Cathedral Square Assisted Living in Burlington, Vermont.

“During my internship, I worked with RiseVT to plan a Social Connectedness Program for seniors. Although this program has not been officially launched at the end of my internship, there is a plan in place which we created together. The seniors involved in the program will include socially isolated people aged 65 years and older who were referred to the program from their primary care provider. In this program, we will have primary care providers have their patients fill out surveys to place them on a ‘loneliness scale’. The questions would be ranked on a scale of 1 to 3, 1 being “rarely or never”, and 3 being “usually or always”. An example of a question asked would be “How often do you feel you have no one to talk to?” If a senior answers 3, that would indicate that they usually or always feel as though they have no one to talk to. This quantitative method of categorizing qualitative answers will allow us to track the progress of the program using quantitative analyses. The data collection will begin as soon as the program is launched, and seniors will take the same survey every 3-4 months.”