Live Long and Master Aging podcast



Making new friends as we get older

Maureen Feldman: Social Isolation Impact Project

Maureen Feldman runs the Motion Picture & Television Fund’s (MPTF) Social Isolation Impact Project. The program brings together volunteers and entertainment veterans who are in need of some company. It may come as a surprise, but even in Hollywood, loneliness is at chronic levels amongst older adults. The project is working to unite isolated senior citizens with younger, like-minded professionals through its Daily Call Sheet. The service helps older film industry members make new friends. In this LLAMA podcast interview with Peter Bowes, Maureen explains why most of us are ignoring a vital pillar of healthy aging; how we should focus on social connections early in life, to avoid loneliness in old age; and what the MPTF is doing to make sure the oldest members of society are never without friends.

Published on: 22 Oct 2018 @ 20:48 PST


Connect with Maureen and the MPTF’s Social Isolation Impact Project: Website | The Daily Call Sheet | email | LinkedIn

This is the latest in a series of interviews recorded at the USC Body Computing Conference.  Find out more about the event here and the USC Center for Body Computing here.

In this interview discover:

  • Why people in high pressure, demanding jobs, such as in the entertainment industry, often find themselves lonely and isolated in old age.
  • Why looking after ourselves physically, sleeping enough and preparing financially for our retirement, is not enough.

”People are not necessarily prepared for aging when it comes to social connections.”

  • How older people can suddenly feel isolated in the home they have lived in for decades.
  • How growing to a great age and outliving our friends is a recipe for acute loneliness.

“I have reached out and I look at everyone I meet as an opportunity for a social connection…it’s it’s not that hard you just have to be present and available.”

  • Why intergenerational programs are so valuable to reduce social isolation.
  • It is never too late to make new friends.
  • How the MPTF’s Daily Call Sheet is helping the aging Hollywood community find new meaning in their lives.
  • How volunteers are teaching older adults to use mobile technology to help them integrate with the outside world.

“This is a very high touch, low cost way to reach a lot of people and add some joy and create some quality at the end of someone’s time.”

Background paper:

The Social Isolation Impact Project: Motion Picture & Television Fund Engages the Industry and Community in Staying Connected

Related podcasts:

  • Scott Kaiser (Ep.77) Chief Innovation Officer, Motion Picture & Television Fund.
  • Kerry Burnight (Ep. 71) Chief gerontologist, GrandPad – the tablet designed for over 75s
  • Sophie Andrews (Ep. 42) The Silver Line, UK hotline offering friendship and advice to older people

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