We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization offering much needed, high-quality health services to older adults, for free. Our mission is to reduce older adult isolation and promote intergenerational engagement through storytelling. 11 million, or 28%, of older Americans are at risk for isolation. Isolation is the cause of many physical and mental health issues such as depression, diabetes and lung disease. Isolation can also impair the immune system and increase cognitive decline. Additionally, isolated older adults face a 26% higher chance of early death. Inspired by her friendship with her grandma, Harvard-trained Benita Cooper began the first Best Day of My Life So Far storytelling group and blog in Philadelphia in 2009. Within months, venue directors nationwide asked her to train their staff and volunteers to start similar groups and blogs. In 5 years, she trained hundreds of professionals and volunteers to implement the program at diverse sites in PA, NJ, IL, WA and OR. 6 international research teams, as well as AARP’s top leadership at the national level, have evaluated Best Day’s trademarked storytelling model and verified that it is an unprecedented and effective solution for reducing isolation with positive cognitive, psychological and health outcomes. In a recent national survey, 100% of our volunteers said that our program is high or very high quality, based on the transformations they have witnessed in our participants’ lives. Read on to see: what we do, proof of our impact, and what inspired us to do this work which we love.
5 ways to help
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COMING SOON | Stay tuned via our newsletter and social media for early VIP access to the Best Day Toolbox, filled with practical instructions and tools for you to interact more meaningfully with the older adults in your personal life or at your workplace, both one-on-one or in group settings.
Visit our virtual library, where you can browse stories by city and post your comments. These stories are told by older adults, submitted by younger listeners, and curated by volunteers. We have collected thousands of stories through the years and are in the process of filling this library with lovingly curated collections.