SURF

Delane Sims

Identifying the Causes of Health Related Social Isolation among African American Seniors

My summer research will take place in Washington D.C. the hub of senior based organizations such as AARP and the Department of Health and Human Services. My research will consist of examining specific health disparities that exist among African American elders that can cause them to fall into social isolation. While in a socially isolated state, many of these seniors can succumb to depression and even suicide. As more research is conducted on ways to identify specific health conditions among African American elders that lead to isolation, preventive measures can be taken to stem the tide of those afflicted by the many ill affects isolation brings.

Message to Sponsor

I am excited about the final objective of my research which is to inform senior care communities about health related isolation among African American seniors and to also fold my research into my seniors honors thesis. My honors thesis will be the basis for a book I wish to publish and distribute among those who care for African American seniors. This publication will also inform the work I currently do with an organization I founded called Senior Moments designed to help homebound seniors. I will also discuss others means to prevent isolation among elders such as through accessible transportation. I am grateful to receive the SURF fellowship which enables me to focus on a population that is near and dear to my heart - elders. After all, I was born loving seniors - my dad is 112 years old.
  • Major: American Studies
  • Mentor: Christine Palmer, American Studies