Improving Lives of Older Adults by Reducing Social Isolation
By Karen M. Brown
Social isolation and loneliness contribute to $75 billion in preventable healthcare costs in the U.S. annually. The feeling of being alone in this world, disconnected from friends and family, increases our risk of everything from dementia to cancer.
Given that one-third of the nation is aging alone, social isolation and loneliness are becoming a healthcare epidemic on par with obesity or smoking. In fact, study after study has found that loneliness is lethal as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
Researchers who have dedicated their lives to fighting cancer, dementia and other devastating diseases are now turning their attention to the role loneliness plays in our health.
Finding solutions to this issue are critical to improving the lives of many older people.
That is precisely what Element3 Health does. And that is why Aging2.0 Denver Chapter is hosting a webinar to highlight the ways in which Element3 Health improves lives and reduces social isolation.
A Network of Active Adults
Element3Health has pictures and testimonials of people who are deeply engaged in their growing network of engaged and connected older adults. Some of these people sew, some play cards, some are avid hikers or gourmet cooks. While their interests and geography vary, these members all have one thing in common: They are the faces of healthy aging.
Element3 Health is a network created to engage seniors around their passions to increase their physical, social and mental activity. In doing this, the network creates one cohesive solution to the problem of rising healthcare spending and physical and cognitive decline.
They are growing quickly, on-boarding 1.5 million members. The growing membership reassures the company that there is a need for their product and services and people are deriving value from them.
One of the testimonials and pictures in their office that I got to see was Jerry, a man in his 70s who lost his social connections during retirement. By starting a pickle-ball group in the Element3 Health network, Jerry created connections that have renewed his purpose and brought joy to his life. Now, he says he feels ensconced in a healthy community of peers.
By organizing around people’s passions, Element3 Health helps seniors like Jerry avoid the loneliness that would otherwise increase their risk of disease and premature death. Instead of seeking out doctors, these seniors find communities who share their passions.
Jim, another 70-something pickle-ball player in the Element3 Health network, feels that the feeling of belonging to a community is why the network succeeds where free senior gym membership programs fail: “People play and have a good time and laugh, and it sure beats the heck out of running on the treadmill.”
Fighting the costly, lethal scourge of loneliness requires staying active – physically, mentally and socially. Element3 Health’s platform and network combine community, passion and three levels of activity as a solution worth diving into.
Karen Brown - Zest for all things aging-related. Skilled in catalyzing and supporting startups that address the needs of the Longevity Economy. Educating and promoting life engagement for older people. Proposing and supporting changes in longevity policy to meet today’s needs. Futuristic and realistic creative problem-solver with a "think different" philosophy. Focus on work that leads to increased choice, control, and independence of older people and their caregivers at reduced costs.