Date of Award

August 2017

Degree Type





Donald W. Carr

Second Advisor

Lucinda K. Havenhand

Subject Categories

Arts and Humanities


Studies have revealed that living alone and eating alone lead to negative psy- chological impacts on older adults such

as feeling of loneliness, and nutrition problems such as apathy about the food and decreases in food consumption. I am studying the behavior of elders’ to- ward food by comparing their behavior while eating alone vs eating in groups. Elders living alone in an independent housing facility were interviewed and four of them completed surveys on food choice, dietary patterns and food related activities. Research results have shown that elders are less motivated to embrace food activities when they eat alone. I want to explore how we might transform eating alone into more of a social experience in order to motivate elders to be more interested in meals and enhance their food intake. Based on the results from the research, I designed an elder-friendly application for elders to nd companionship while having meals. My goal is to help elders participate in meaningful and satisfying activities in- volving food and thereby construct a better quality of later life.


Open Access



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.