Staying connected is essential to remaining healthy as we age. But, that’s often easier said than done — especially as time passes and connections are sometimes lost.
In this video, you’ll meet Betty, who thought she preferred to remain at home. Here’s how her relationship with her Aetna care manager, Sarah, opened up a whole new world — outside of her home and comfort zone.
Learn more about Betty’s Medicare Moment below:
Betty’s Medicare Moment: Staying connected by stepping outside your comfort zone
Aetna Registered Nurse Field Case Manager
Sarah: Betty's issue was that she needed more test strips for her glucometer, which was a very easy fix.
As I talked to Betty more though, she started telling me about her back problems. She started talking more about her diabetes and how her blood sugars were swinging wildly.
So, what was supposed to be 30 days of me getting this member new test strips turned into a six-month long relationship.
Aetna Medicare Advantage member since January, 2014
Betty: We'd talk about my health, and I would give her my reports from my doctor so that she could see how I'm coming along. I enjoy talking to her.
Betty was spending most of her time alone at home
Sarah: She's a self-proclaimed home body. Social isolation is truly, it's a crisis.
Robert Mirsky, MD
Chief Medical Officer for Aetna Medicare
Robert: The literature has shown that it is the equivalent of smoking almost a pack of cigarettes a day. That is how impactful being socially isolated is, and it's also an area that is very addressable.
So, we certainly want our seniors to have all of the supports they need to stay in their homes. And while we want to make sure that we support them in their homes, we also want to make sure that we help them get out and into the community and engage in ways that help them reconnect with what makes them feel vital.
Sarah talked to Betty about exercising as a way to stay healthy and socialize
Betty: She was always very encouraging and got me to go to SilverSneakers®, where I thought I would never go because I didn't like leaving my house.
It's really enjoyable, a lot of fun. And you meet other ladies that are even older than I am. And I never thought there was anybody older than me!
Now, Betty’s getting out more with a group called “Sweet 60s” and with her church
Betty: We go out maybe once a month to go downtown to see a play. I volunteer at the church one day a week. And I just thank God that I'm able to do this. It gives me a chance to get out and do something worthwhile.
Robert: We want to make sure that people are connected to their communities. We want to make sure that people have a sense of purpose in their lives and a sense of belonging, and a sense that they are continuing to contribute to society.
Sarah’s work with Betty is a key part of Aetna’s Medicare Advantage plans
Robert: Traditionally, care management has had a very medical focus. It’s now a much more holistic focus. So, we want to look at the medical, the behavioral and social determinants of health.
Sarah: We're here for support and we're here to offer the knowledge that we have and if we don't know, we have colleagues that we can ask.
Robert: What we endeavored to do at Aetna, is to really look at the total health of each of our members. And that goes beyond the physical conditions they have, to their behavioral health needs and to their spiritual needs.
Sarah: We get to do face to face visits. We get to go out into the community, and we get to meet our members. The first time I walked into Betty’s house, I did an assessment. I looked. I wanted to know, did she have cords she could trip over? I did a fall risk assessment. Did she have running water? We're doing what we're trained to do as nurses.
Betty and Sarah enjoy spending time together
Betty: She’s been very encouraging to me and I’ve learned to love her because of her way of speaking to me and getting me to do things that I never did before. You can talk to her about anything and that's where it stays.
Sarah: I am so proud of Betty. Her blood sugars came down. She reduced the amount of testing that she does per day, her blood sugars are stable, and she is going to SilverSneakers. She is a much more social person than she was.
Betty: What do I think about Sarah? She's an easy person to love.
To learn more, visit www.AetnaMedicare.com/Engage
Aetna Medicare is a HMO, PPO plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in our plans depends on contract renewal. See Evidence of Coverage for a complete description of plan benefits, exclusions, limitations and conditions of coverage. Plan features and availability may vary by service area.
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