University Presentation Showcase: Graduate Poster Gallery



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Social Work


Anthropology, Sociology, and Social Work




Dr. Dawn Higgins

Mentor Department

Anthropology, Sociology, and Social Work


As the United States population continues to age, the prevalence of depression and isolation in older adults demonstrates a need for program intervention. Research states that prevalence of depressive symptoms measured at 43.9% in homebound older adults and 28.1% in semi-homebound older adults (Xiang & Brooks, 2017). In addition to this increase in the older population, within the next 15 years, people of color will make up 1-in-3 older Americans, and the LGBTQ+) older population will double in size to at least 4 million (Diverse Elders | Diverse Elders Coalition, n.d.). As the aging population continues to diversify, the implementation of a cross-cultural performance framework is necessary to acknowledge cultural differences, promote allyship activities, and engage in rapport-building conversation (Feitosa et al., 2022). There is a community need for services and supports for homebound older adults and individuals with disabilities so that they can maintain independent living. The Senior Companion Program (SCP) addresses this need by placing a volunteer with said individuals to assist with daily living tasks and provide socialization—the goal of the program is to prevent premature institutionalization, reduce depression symptoms, and improve the client's quality of life. Studies show that older adults who participate in diverse social activities have better self-rated health (Zaitsu et al., 2018). To promote diversity in social activities, the SCP trains volunteers on the concepts of anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion (ADEI). The training consists of the following areas: cultural competency, valuing diversity, power and privilege, and social barriers that affect seniors.