Torres Receives Bronze Award from Innovative Research on Aging

The Innovative Research on Aging Awards recognize excellent applied research that offers important
implications for the senior living industry. Created to inspire next practices, the annual awards honor
groups and individuals committed to bringing research to real life, thereby improving the senior
living industry.
Each year, Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging reviews dozens of submissions on a wide range of
topics, including health and well-being of senior living residents, technological advancements for older
adults, senior living workforce, and aging in place. The Institute selects award recipients based on:
• the quality of their research
• the actionable research findings and recommendations
• relevance to important problems in the senior living industry
• innovation

Spreading Gossip: Demonstrating How Gossip Builds Connections among Older Adults Vulnerable to Isolation
University of California, San Francisco
Stacy Torres, PhD

The author of this study drew on five years of ethnographic fieldwork
among older adults in New York City. The study presents empirical insights
into the development of supplementary neighborhood-based networks
of support for older people living alone and vulnerable to isolation. One
opportunity for socializing among study participants involved engaging
in neighborhood gossip venues, such as coffee shops and other retail
establishments. The insights provided can help those in the senior living
industry and aging-related fields understand older adults’ preferences for
vibrant, open, intergenerational spaces to build community and informal
social support, which promote their independence as they age in place.
The author conducted 25 interviews and collected data on a fluid group
of roughly 47 women and men age 60 and better, the majority of whom
were women. The group included Puerto Rican, Jewish, and ethnic white
(Italian, Greek, and Irish descent) people who were low-to-middle income.