Tivity Health® (Nasdaq: TVTY), a leading provider of fitness, nutrition and social connection solutions, today released a comprehensive new report outlining critical next steps to improve the health of aging Americans. The report underscores how social determinants of health - the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age - have an enormous impact on a person's health.
Insights from the third annual Connectivity Summit on Rural Aging informed the report and its conclusions. At the Summit, a record 220 stakeholders heard from luminaries Katie Couric and U.S. Senator Bill Frist, M.D., as well as thought leaders in the healthcare industry. Attendees representing community, government, academia and private sector organizations convened in Nashville in August 2019 to discuss actions to reduce social isolation, address nonmedical factors that affect a person's health and prioritize the needs of older Americans.
The report identifies eight recommendations for tackling various social determinants of health and improving older Americans' health in rural areas. Solutions include designing a standardized assessment of social determinants of health, expanding a model for healthcare reimbursements to improve outcomes related to social determinants of health, and improving public-private collaboration between community-based organizations, retail groups and the healthcare system.
"Everyone deserves to age with dignity, and we must now work together, private and public sectors alike, to make this a basic human right and national priority," said Donato Tramuto, CEO of Tivity Health and president and founder of Health eVillages. "For an older person, perhaps on a limited income, far from family, unable to drive, and feeling isolated, these social factors are an integral part of how we provide for Americans as they age and improve the health of our fast-growing older population, especially in rural areas."
The new report showcases national leaders who attended the 2019 Connectivity Summit, and highlights the dangers posed by key social determinants including loneliness and social isolation, which impact Americans across generations. Research also shows that, in the last year, nearly seven out of ten Americans say they had at least one unmet social need,1 which has prompted health systems, providers, and others to focus on better addressing these nonmedical drivers of health.
At the same time, the report highlighted 19 stories of successful interventions to support older adults. The organizations featured catalyze change through innovative partnerships and programs designed to improve aging and promote social connectivity in communities across the United States.
Increased collaboration between the private and public sectors was spotlighted as one of the key takeaways for action in 2020 and beyond. The report calls on leveraging consumer-facing organizations and other private companies to explore what can be done to reduce loneliness, improve health and reduce rates of chronic conditions and diseases in the United States.
"Bringing a diverse network of public and private collaborators, the Connectivity Summit on Rural Aging has a common goal of driving change for future generations," says John Feather, PhD, CEO of Grantmakers In Aging and a member of the Rural Aging Advisory Council. "Rural America needs the engagement of philanthropies, of all shapes and sizes, to influence and transform the social and economic factors affecting the aging population today."
Tivity Health launched its first Connectivity Summit on Rural Aging in 2017 to support the unique challenges faced by seniors living in rural communities. Tivity Health delivers SilverSneakers®, the nation's leading fitness and social engagement program for older adults, to more than 16 million eligible members nationwide at nearly 18,000 participating fitness locations.
The report was authored by Tivity Health in partnership with Grantmakers In Aging, a membership organization of philanthropies with a common dedication to improving the experience of aging. The report will be a platform for action throughout the year and culminates in the 2020 Connectivity Summit on Rural Aging, which will focus on ending loneliness and improving social and human connections in an ever-growing digital age.
The event will take place September 22-24, 2020, in Nashville and will be hosted by Tivity Health in collaboration with Health eVillages, the MIT AgeLab and the Jefferson College of Population Health.