Students organize speed-friending brunch for older adults

Students organize speed-friending brunch for older adults

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Regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, older adults don’t want to feel like they’ve lost connection with their community, said Robin Goldberg-Glen, professor of social work at Widener University.

The number-one complaint older adults have, she said, has to do with isolation and loneliness.

About 40 students from Goldberg-Glen’s classes are organizing an Older Adult Speed-Friending Brunch to help people in Philadelphia stay connected with each other. It’s the first time Goldberg-Glen’s students are hosting the brunch specifically for LGBT people. The older adults will spend the time pairing off with each other for conversations and trading partners at various intervals.

The event takes place from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. April 10 at William Way LGBT Community Center, 1315 Spruce St. It’s free to attend and includes food.

“Overwhelmingly, the students wanted to work with William Way, which is really refreshing,” Goldberg-Glen said. “If I had done this when I was in college, no one would even want their name listed.”

Many of her students are majoring in nursing or social work. Goldberg-Glen assigned readings on LGBT older adults and their health and social concerns. She also screened “Gen Silent” for her classes. The 2011 documentary focuses on LGBT seniors living in the Boston area and the phenomenon of returning to the closet in nursing homes and interactions with aging services

Goldberg-Glen said she hopes to hold the speed-friending brunch every semester. To register, call Golderg-Glen at 484-429-6013 and leave her with your name and contact information. 

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