Thursday, June 18, 2020

Socrates Cafes for YOU?

Socrates Café for Older Adults: Intergenerational Connectedness Through Facilitated Conversation

Christine Sorrell Dinkins, PhD


Opportunities for social connectedness are important for older adults' psychosocial well-being. Social connections through intergenerational engagement provide older adults benefits such as increased generativity, improved cognitive functioning, and a greater sense of self-worth. The facilitated discussion known as Socrates Café is ideally suited for bridging generation gaps and inviting self-expression. Socrates Cafés provide an alternative to more traditional social programming by promoting communal inquiry and substantive reflection on questions of value and meaning. In a study of an intergenerational Socrates Café with college students and low-income older adults, findings indicated reduced ageism and stereotyping from students, the formation of relationships between students and older adults, and a recognition from older adults that they had valuable insights to share with younger generations. Health professionals wishing to improve psychosocial health for older adults may consider setting up an intergenerational Socrates Café. [Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, 57(1), 11–15.]

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