The Oral History of Palo Alto Senior Citizens


by : 
Micaela W.


Many senior citizens in America struggle with feelings of loneliness and isolation, despite the efforts of various organizations to give seniors opportunities to interact socially. In a University of San Francisco study that included 1604 participants with an average 71 years old, 43% of seniors reported feeling lonely (Kim, 2012). Loneliness negatively impacts quality of life and can even have an effect on longevity, increasing mortality rates by up to 26% (Lilleston, 2017). The problem is simple: the elderly are lonely because they are often alone (Botek). This project will join older and younger generations together, building inter-generational relationships through the tradition of oral history of the recent past, and examine whether creating these bonds is enough to reduce feelingsof loneliness and the accompanying negative health effects.