According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), almost 30 percent of retired Americans live alone, sometimes leaving them vulnerable to loneliness. When people become isolated, their health and happiness can quickly deteriorate, especially for seniors whose immune systems may already be compromised.
Aetna addresses loneliness in seniors
Medicare Advantage provider, Aetna, is launching a new program with Papa Inc. to help improve health outcomes in seniors by addressing loneliness. Papa connects college-aged caregivers who want to help seniors do daily chores, run errands, provide companionship, and other senior services.
According to Andrew Parker, Papa CEO, Papa pairs “college students to older adults who need assistance with transportation, [household] chores, technology lessons, companionship, and other seniors services.”
The program will be available to Medicare Advantage beneficiaries with Aetna who live in Florida and have at least one chronic health condition beginning in 2020.
Other ways to combat loneliness
If you don’t have a Medicare Advantage plan through Aetna–no worries. There are other ways you can increase your socialization and safeguard your health. Consider:
- Moving into a senior village
- Taking a class at your local crafting store
- Signing up for SilverSneakers
- Becoming active in your local community center or church
- Adopting a pet
- Leaning on your friends and family
- Taking up a hobby
- Getting a part-time job
Loneliness can increase the risk of developing health conditions like obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, Alzheimer’s disease, and even premature death. Socializing in retirement can be difficult, but it’s necessary to protect your health and happiness.