Humana Inc., in partnership with Uber Health, Papa, Coalition to End Social Isolation and Loneliness, and the NASA-funded Translational Research Institute for Space Health (TRISH) today announced the launch of “Far from Alone” – a public health awareness campaign to address health-related social needs and promote understanding of loneliness and social isolation, issues that are exacerbated by the Coronavirus pandemic.
“Loneliness and social isolation are growing public health concerns, especially among older Americans. Because of social distancing efforts to manage the spread of COVID-19, millions of people are experiencing the effects of isolation for the first time,” said William Shrank, MD, MPHS, Humana’s Chief Medical and Corporate Affairs Officer. “What many may not realize is loneliness can cause serious health issues long term. Together with other industry leaders, Far from Alone will drive awareness of the issue and highlight resources and interventions.”
Over time, the effects of loneliness and social isolation may have negative mental health and neurological consequences, and they are associated with worsening health-related quality of life, increased mortality and other poor health outcomes. For example, research has shown lonely seniors may have an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, depression and stroke.1,2
“A person’s health encompasses much more than doctor’s visits and medications. It includes access to food and exercise, education and financial stability, and – especially during times like these – socialization and community engagement,” said Lauren Steingold, Head of Strategic Initiatives at Uber Health. “At Uber Health, we recognize how important access to transportation is for enabling positive long-term health outcomes. With Far from Alone, we look forward to addressing the transportation needs of those who are socially isolated and collaborating with our partners to better support our most vulnerable communities.”
“The negative effects of loneliness and isolation are now a reality for many, and these social issues can have an impact on a person’s physical health,” said Andrew Parker, Founder & CEO of Papa. “Papa is proud to partner with Humana and others in this program to spread awareness across the country to support older adults and families, especially during these unprecedented times.”
The program further leverages partner organizations’ depth of research and expertise in social determinants of health, or the environmental conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age. Far from Alone partners encourage consumers, healthcare professionals and community leaders to use and share the educational materials available on the campaign website, FarfromAlone.com, which links to resources including:
- In-depth toolkits explaining the differences between loneliness and social isolation, associated health effects, and how to combat them
- Shareable content and infographics offering practical tips and ideas to stay connected during physical distancing
- Opportunities to join the #FarfromAlone conversation on social media
For more information on Far from Alone, or to find resources to help combat loneliness and social isolation, visit FarfromAlone.com.