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HOPE-Helping Older People Engage

Research Question:
Can "Looking Back"(Life review) or "Giving Back" (Volunteering) improve social connectedness and well-being in people age 60 and older?

Basic Study Information

Purpose:
The purpose of this study is to compare two activities — reflecting on one’s past (called “life review”) and volunteering in the community (“volunteering”). We are interested in learning how these activities may improve social connectedness and well-being among adults age 60 and older. Volunteering involves participate weekly in a flexible volunteer program with Lifespan that involves a menu of options including helping at senior centers, co-leading classes, mentoring/tutoring and many other options. Life review involves participating in a one-year reminiscence program that is self-guided and involves completing monthly exercises such as writing about one’s memories.

Study Reference #: 67027

Lead Researcher (Principal Investigator)

Lead Researcher: Kimberly Van Orden

Study Contact Information

Study Coordinator: HOPE Coordinator
Phone: (585) 273-1811
Email: HOPE@urmc.rochester.edu

Additional Study Details

Study Details:
You may be eligible for this study if you are age 60 or older and experience any of the following: feel like you lack companionship, feel left out, or feel isolated from others. Participation includes in-person interviews at URMC at study start, 6 months and 12 months. There are multiple-choice and open-ended questions about your physical health, emotional health and sense of well-being. Online/mailed surveys are completed at 3 and 9 months. Participation in the study lasts one year and involves either volunteering or life review throughout the year. Subjects are randomly assigned (flip of a coin) to either Life Review or Volunteering.

Number of Visits:  2 to 5
Parking:  Free
Transportation Coverage:  No

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