Abstract| Volume 23, ISSUE 3, PB18, March 2022

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Increasing Sense of Purpose Reduces Loneliness in Long-Term Care Residents

      Loneliness poses a risk to long-term care residents’ physical, mental, and emotional health. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the psychosocial challenges in long-term care. To address these long-standing challenges, programs focused on temporary companionship are not enough. Create Circles, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, developed an evidence-based curriculum for volunteers and health professionals to develop a sense of purpose rather than provide companionship. By encouraging goal-oriented projects like compiling a cookbook or writing a memoir, the older adult-volunteer pair use past experiences to find meaning in the present. We hypothesize that the Create Circles intervention will 1) develop a sense of purpose and 2) reduce loneliness in residents over 8 weeks. We tested the efficacy of this curriculum and intervention with the Crumbaugh & Maholick Purpose in Life Test and the UCLA Loneliness Assessment.
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