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FitOn HealthFebruary 083 min read

Medicare’s Role in Combating Loneliness in Seniors

Nearly 1 in 4 adults feel lonely, here’s what Medicare Advantage plans can do to help.

Loneliness in seniors, aged 65 and above, has become a pressing issue, with profound implications for their overall health and well-being. Loneliness and isolation are prevalent in the older population due to a combination of social, psychological, and physical factors that commonly accompany the aging process. In fact, a recent report found that more than ⅓ of adults aged 45 and older feel lonely & nearly ¼ of adults aged 65 and older are considered to be socially isolated. As individuals age, they may experience life events such as:

  • The loss of a spouse, friends, or family members
  • Retirement
  • Children moving away
  • The death of peers 

All of these factors can lead to reduced social connections, contributing to social isolation. Medicare plans have a unique opportunity to make a meaningful impact by offering holistic health and wellness solutions that address this epidemic head-on.

Understanding loneliness in seniors

Loneliness isn't just a fleeting feeling of sadness or solitude; it's a significant public health concern that can have serious consequences for seniors. Research has shown that chronic loneliness is associated with a host of physical and mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, cardiovascular problems, and even a weakened immune system.

Seniors are particularly vulnerable to loneliness due to factors such as retirement, loss of loved ones, mobility limitations, and social isolation. Not to mention additional factors such as the COVID-19 pandemic, which exacerbated feelings of loneliness and isolation for many older adults, as social distancing measures severly limited opportunities for in-person interactions.

The link between physical activity and senior mental health

One powerful tool in the fight against loneliness is physical activity. Regular exercise not only improves physical health but also has profound benefits for mental well-being. When seniors engage in physical activity, whether it's walking, swimming, yoga, or gardening, their brains release feel-good chemicals like endorphins, which can help alleviate feelings of loneliness and boost mood.

Exercise provides opportunities for social interaction, whether it's joining a walking group, attending fitness classes, or participating in outdoor activities. These social connections are crucial for combating loneliness and fostering a sense of belonging and community among seniors.

Download our free guide Mindful Motion: A Guide to Mental Resilience to learn more about the power of physical activity in combating loneliness in seniors and boosting mental health.

Incorporating a health and wellness platform into benefits offerings

When it comes to Medicare plans, you have a unique opportunity to support your beneficiaries in combating loneliness through an all-in-one health and wellness benefit for the modern senior. By incorporating a comprehensive health and wellness platform into your benefits offerings, you can provide seniors with the tools and resources they need to stay physically active, socially connected, and mentally resilient.

FitOn Health provides the most innovative fitness solution for Medicare plans that results in greater ROI and member satisfaction while reducing healthcare costs. Diverse and personalized Medicare plan benefits can offer a wide range of features and services tailored to the needs of older adults, including:

  • Exercise and fitness programs designed specifically for seniors, with options for all fitness levels, abilities, and conditions.
  • Virtual courses and workshops on topics such as healthy aging, nutrition, stress management, and mindfulness.
  • Social networking features that allow seniors to connect with peers, join interest-based groups, and participate in virtual activities.
  • Mental health resources, such as mindfulness sessions, support groups, and self-care tools for managing stress, anxiety, and depression.
  • Personalized health tracking and monitoring tools to help seniors stay on top of their physical and mental well-being.

By offering a holistic health and wellness platform as part of your benefits package, you can enable seniors to take control of their health, stay socially connected, and combat loneliness in a proactive and meaningful way.

Schedule a demo to see what FitOn Health can do for your members.

 

 

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