GWU Reaching Out started during the COVID-19 pandemic as an initiative to establish social connection, build relationships, and combat loneliness among older adults who were newly homebound due to pandemic social distancing restrictions. Run out of our Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine Student Interest Group, we are student run and operated, with the dual focus on improving care for older adults through education of today’s medical students as well as building intergenerational social connections in our local community.
Beginning in the Fall of 2020, we are excited to fill a new role that supports establishing and fostering intergenerational relationships among older adults in the DC region and George Washington University medical students. We believe that older adults in our community are an important resource in training future physicians to provide culturally competent care with increased awareness of the needs of older adults. As our nation strives to build Age Friendly Communities and Age Friendly Health Systems, it is critical that future clinicians learn directly from older adults how to meet their needs. Medical students will have the opportunity to learn from the experiences of their senior mentor through discussions about shared interests, hot topics, personal experiences, and guided conversations about their interactions with the health care systems. GWU Reaching Out is excited to continue to foster relationships and community connections!