Generations United, Humana partnership celebrates Grandparents Day, intergenerational connection to improve loneliness and social isolation
A recent headline in the New York Times sparked interest “In a Japan Nursing Home, Some Workers Are Babies.”
Life in a nursing home can often be dull and lonely without much stimulation. The “baby workers” brought in by their parents immediately changed the dynamics. As one resident said “…the baby workers are a great treat….they make the whole place brighter.”
It’s not just nursing home residents who may be surrounded by people yet still feel lonely, and not unique to one generation. Nearly half of all adults and 30% of millennials report feeling lonely. According to Humana data 28% of Medicare members, and 61% of Medicaid members in just Kentucky, have loneliness or chronic loneliness. One study found loneliness is as detrimental to health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
Enter Grandparents Day, celebrated globally (this year on September 11 and throughout the month) to show the bond between grandparents, grand families and grandkids. Designated by Congress more than 40 years ago, it provides a unique platform to call on people of all generations to Do Something Grand with or on behalf of another generation. It is also central to Humana’s promise of promise of whole person care to members.
“Unmet social needs — including loneliness and social isolation — can severely influence health outcomes,” said Dr. Nwando Olayiwola, Chief Health Equity Officer and Senior Vice President, Humana. “Humana is positioned to offer solutions and resources and ensuring this is a top priority for the whole health of our members.”
Humana has created programs and partnerships to address loneliness for members and in our communities. Grandparents Day is celebrated with Humana partner, Generations Unitedopens new window, seeking to improve lives through intergenerational programs and strategies. Far From Aloneopens new window, sponsored by Humana and The Humana Foundation, is a public health awareness campaign committed to addressing loneliness.
“There is a very unique and special connection that occurs when an older and younger person come together that not only can transform their lives but also their communities,” said Donna M. Butts, Executive Director, Generations United. “We believe that building and strengthening intergenerational relationships are central to achieving a healthy, equitable, and just society for all.”
A 2022 survey of programs that engage younger and older people found almost 60% reported the primary goal of their program was to decrease isolation and increase connectedness between youth and older adults.
We need to connect real people of all ages with other real people. That is the way we will beat the disease of loneliness.
For more information on how to celebrate the GRANDest of moments, visit grandparentsday.org