Viability of Magazines for Stimulating Social Interactions in Nursing Homes

Valentina Caforio Marcos Baez Fabio Casati

Social isolation and loneliness have a strong negative impact on health and happiness. The correlation is present at all ages, but the risk of loneliness and isolation is particularly high in later life and when transitioning to residential care settings, where keeping in touch with the family, making new friends and integrating with the community in a new social context can be very challenging. In this note we report on our preliminary studies on the opportunity and feasibility of using custom, printed magazines for increasing feelings of connectedness and promoting meaningful interactions in nursing homes. The content and layout for the magazine are generated in an automatic or semi-automatic way and emphasize aspects that could lead to discovering connections or starting conversations. Initial findings point to the potential for such a magazine and lead to content guidelines that we elaborate in the paper.