Being a caregiver to my 91-year-old parents has really opened my eyes. And not only has it given me perspective on how challenging it can be and how much help is needed in many situations, it’s also allowed me to reflect on what could we do better at Aetna each and every day to make our members live healthier lives and deal with the aging process.
How caregivers can help their loved ones
The biggest challenges we have today is the flow of information you know from providers to the Medicare members, and I could see my parents struggling with interpreting what things meant and what they were supposed to do.
One of the things that I did that has helped a lot along the way was I created a binder of information. Basically I carry that binder everywhere I go. And in that binder I had their health insurance information, their list of medications, their health history, their living will and health directives. That information is pretty critical, and it helps providers assess what’s going on, what was the history. It’s been a great resource and something we actually encourage members to create and organize in their own homes.
The best advice I could give a Medicare beneficiary who’s trying to look for a Medicare plan is utilize your family and friends or a trusted advisor to make sure that you’re asking the right questions about the benefits, you know are my doctors covered in the program, how much out-of-pockets costs for certain drugs that I use.
What Aetna is doing to help our members and their caregivers
Aetna’s vision for our Medicare members is to help them on their health care journey, and our goal is really to help them achieve their own health ambitions, and that’s very personalized. We find the biggest challenge is that as you age, sometimes you lose your community and you lose your way. So we’re trying to put our arms around our members and think about it in a holistic way.
What our members are saying
As you hear from Doreen, you’ll see that her desire to be active and you know spend time with her daughter going to the pool and Janice and Doreen you know enjoy that activity together. It also gets Doreen out and involved with others.
Doreen Borschel, Aetna Medicare Advantage member since January, 2012
Being healthy is ultra-important to me, especially at my age. I go to the aquatic center, get my exercise and at the same time, seeing people and seeing human faces-- interaction. It keeps me connected, and the exercise keeps me limber.
Janice Grek, Aetna Medicare Advantage member since June, 2016
Aetna covers Silver Sneakers and Silver Sneakers covers membership for physical fitness. I enjoy being in the aquatics center in the pool. My mom and I are in a class together. It’s wonderful to have the opportunity to exercise right alongside my mom.
I think the most instrumental part of healthy aging is connection with the community and friends. Those emotional connections are as important as the health connections.
To learn more, visit www.AetnaMedicare.com/Learn
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