© 2023 Life Story Club. All Right Reserved
One WNYC radio reporter expressed it well:
“Life Story Club is like a big family reunion.”
Founded in October of 2019, Life Story Clubs were first offered in the recreation rooms of a couple of older adult centers and nursing homes in Brooklyn. Five months later, COVID-19 hit, and the world as we knew it shut down.
All of the Life Story Clubs quickly moved online, and our small storytelling groups became a lifeline for many older adults as they struggled to survive in COVID-ravaged nursing homes and stave off loneliness that came with losing loved ones and sheltering at home, alone, for many months. Throughout all of this, our small clubs continued to meet week after week virtually, giving our members an opportunity to create community and form friendships from the safety and comfort of their own homes.
When the world opened up again, we continued to meet online. Our virtual format gives members the opportunity to meet and connect with individuals across the city and beyond, making it possible for members who are unable to leave their homes to easily participate in weekly meetings.
At Life Story Club we believe that the loneliness and social isolation facing older adults is a public health crisis and that relationship-building and socializing are critical for healthy aging.
We believe that sharing and listening to life stories gives people a vital sense of purpose, belonging, and meaning.
We believe that everyone’s experiences shape who they are and that people thrive when they feel seen and heard.
We believe that listening is as important as speaking and that it’s important to laugh and have fun.
We believe that asking questions is more important than having the answers, and that empathy is an essential ingredient, the foundation upon which trust and social connection can be built.
As per recent studies, approximately
43% of older adults report feeling lonely.1
According to the National Institute on Aging, the health consequences of extended social isolation are comparable to smoking 15 cigarettes daily.2
As per the Health Resources and Services Administration, being socially isolated may lead to a 32% higher risk of stroke, a 29% increased risk of heart disease, a 26% elevated risk of mental health disorders, premature mortality, and other significant health conditions.
Loneliness is associated with Higher rates of depression, 50% increased risk of dementia, and 30% increased risk of cardiovascular diseases.3
The additional annual Medicare costs associated with loneliness are
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