The United Health Foundation is teaming up with AARP Foundation to support older Americans during the COVID-19 emergency. The $5 million collaboration — which will address social isolation and food insecurity among seniors nationwide — is part of UnitedHealth Group’s (NYSE: UNH) nearly $70 million initial commitment to fight COVID-19 and support impacted populations, including health care workers, seniors, hard-hit communities and people experiencing homelessness and food insecurity.
Research shows seniors — particularly those with low incomes — are affected by social isolation and food insecurity and the COVID-19 crisis has placed outsized burdens on these vulnerable citizens.
“Social isolation and food insecurity have direct impacts on seniors’ physical and mental health in the best of times, and the COVID-19 emergency has only compounded these challenges for older Americans,” said Brian Thompson, chief executive officer of UnitedHealthcare Government Programs. “AARP Foundation has had a long-standing commitment to addressing the needs of vulnerable older adults, and by working together we can help ensure that seniors have the essential support they need to stay healthy.”
The funding will be used to establish innovative programs to connect older adults to groceries and emergency food boxes, and expand AARP Foundation’s Connect2Affect platform to reduce social isolation, promote greater connection and address other immediate and ongoing needs related to COVID-19.
“Our nation’s older adults are at especially high risk for complications from COVID-19. Moreover, the measures put in place to address this crisis, while necessary, have effectively cut off vulnerable seniors from the things that are vital to well-being, such as nutritious food and social connection,” said Lisa Marsh Ryerson, president, AARP Foundation. “We are grateful to the United Health Foundation for its generous support of our efforts to respond to these needs, both during the pandemic and beyond.”
UnitedHealth Group has collaborated with AARP for more than 20 years on several initiatives to advance health care for older Americans, including creating better consumer experiences and robust research programs to improve health outcomes.
About UnitedHealth Group
UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) is a diversified health care company dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and helping to make the health system work better for everyone. UnitedHealth Group offers a broad spectrum of products and services through two distinct platforms: UnitedHealthcare, which provides health care coverage and benefits services; and Optum, which provides information and technology-enabled health services. For more information, visit UnitedHealth Group at www.unitedhealthgroup.com or follow @UnitedHealthGrp on Twitter.