The Value of Connection and Community During COVID-19
Human beings are social creatures. And, we all know the phrase “it takes a village.” Recently, we’ve learned that it takes a community to weather the storm of COVID-19! We need connection during COVID-19, now more than ever.
If these unusual times have taught us anything, it’s the value aging Americans place on human interaction. For seniors, COVID-19 has illustrated a genuine need for human companionship, social interaction, and engagement.
At CoverageCoach, we like to think we’re senior lifestyle experts. We understand how important a sense of community is for seniors. So we’ve created this article to explain how to stay healthy during isolation. We’ll cover some ways senior adults can build a community around themselves. Finally, we’ll highlight ways Medicare Advantage plans can help.
Let’s explore ways to stay connected while sheltering in place.
Aging Adults Miss Their Community & Connections During Covid-19
We don’t like to sound glum, but there has been a lack of connection during COVID-19. Still, the entire population is suffering a certain amount of depression right now. Unable to work, worship, shop, or dine in public, we’ve all felt the strain of social distancing.
For older individuals, the strain is far worse.
- Stripped of their opportunities to visit with friends and families, seniors slump into a depression that can cause serious health problems.
- Right now, many aging adults are experiencing significant feelings of loss. They are unable to visit with friends, attend important events, or even spend time at the barbershop or salon.
Per the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), those feelings of loss, loneliness, and isolation due to COVID-19 can exacerbate weight and blood pressure problems. They cause severe repercussions for folks who suffer from dementia.
It’s clear that social engagement and human contact are vital for seniors. But, the good news is that seniors, their families, and caregivers can create a community together. And, Medicare Advantage Plans can help!
Create connection during COVID-19 for Aging Adults
Younger folks are getting through, thanks outlets like to Fortnite and Facebook. You might not think older individuals are as comfortable with these tools, but they are worth trying. So, try to set up a Facebook group for your family or your neighborhood.
Video games, in particular, have been gaining popularity among older adults.
- Many seniors love video games!
- The challenges and social nature of online video games are quite engaging.
- A Place For Mom published this list of 15 senior-friendly favorites.
Community Offerings Through Medicare Advantage Plans
Medicare Advantage plans — aka Medicare Part C — are Medicare programs provided by private insurers. These plans are not provided by the government. (Though the federal government closely monitors them.) Seniors over 65 years old are eligible for Medicare Advantage plans.
- These enhanced Medicare insurance plans include more “bells and whistles” than Original Medicare.
More than ever, seniors can take advantage of these extras perks. These perks can help to boost their social time and experience that all-important sense of community.
SilverSneakers, for instance, is a senior fitness plan for Medicare Advantage enrollees. SilverSneakers has online classes like strength training and yoga! These forums boost adult fitness, alleviate boredom, and offer seniors physical fitness benefits.
More Help Through Medicare Advantage Plans
Recent changes to Medicare Advantage allow more in-home supplemental services too. Depending on your plan, you might have access to:
- Assistance with everyday activities, such as cleaning, cooking, and personal grooming
- Adult daycare
- Respite care for family members
- Massage therapy, acupuncture or other alternative therapies
- And meal delivery for homebound folks
Changes to Medicare Since COVID-19
COVID-19 appeared suddenly to disrupt our daily lives, our health, and the US healthcare system. While we’re certainly living in unusual times, the good news is that only minor changes are happening to your Medicare because of Coronavirus.
For price-sensitive seniors, the most significant change to Medicare since COVID-19 is a temporary change in prescription refills.
- This change works to your benefit, as it means you’ll be able to purchase a 90-day supply of most medications, rather than a 30-day supply.
At CoverageCoach, our mission is to provide you with free, unbiased advice about Medicare. The COVID-19 outbreak has left seniors age 65+ with extra concerns including connection during COVID-19, and many more concerns we cover here! We all know that we’re living through unprecedented times. If you’d like to learn more about Medicare, Medicare Advantage, or Medicare Supplement plans, let’s talk!