In an era when social distancing is the new normal, it may be easy to overlook the fact that social isolation and loneliness are key social determinants of health (SDoH). In fact, they've been shown to put people at elevated risk for adverse health outcomes like dementia, cardiovascular disease, depression, anxiety, Alzheimer's disease, and even death. These risk factors are more prevalent among people aged 50 or older, especially those who live alone.
We are committed to helping older adults access the social support they need to live healthy lives — and we knew Papa could help.
Papa, a technology platform, connects older adults and families with caregivers who provide a range of services such as transportation, cooking and meal prep, daily errands, technology lessons, companion health services, and more. Beyond delivering these essential services, Papa can be a bridge through which lasting connections are formed.
Now, Papa will provide on-site and virtual companion health services to older adults via the Healthify platform.
Social Isolation: One SDoH We All Can Relate To
In the context of an ongoing global pandemic, social isolation — and the feelings of loneliness it can produce — has taken on new meaning for a lot of us lately. And while "social distancing," a public health imperative, and "social isolation," an often involuntary condition, are not quite the same thing, our shared experience of the former only underscores the importance of interventions that target the latter.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has opened the eyes of people across the country to the negative impact that being separated from family and friends can have on a person’s physical, mental and emotional wellbeing,” said Manik Bhat, founder and CEO of Healthify. “Until now, it has been challenging to identify seniors at risk for social isolation and loneliness and intervene to provide support. Together with Papa, we’re making it easier for healthcare organizations to seamlessly integrate companion services into their patient care offerings and help improve health outcomes.”
That's the mission for Andrew Parker, founder and CEO of Papa, as well. “We are proud to collaborate with Healthify to help health plans and providers better integrate companionship into their SDoH initiatives, lower medical costs and improve the quality of life for seniors," he said.
To find out more about how this exciting new partnership with Papa will help us combat the adverse impacts of social isolation and loneliness among older Americans, you can read the full press release.