Wednesday, September 18, 2019

MCS launches quality-of-life initiative for ‘older adults’

By on September 9, 2019

(Courtesy)

Seeks to provide richer experiences, activities and foster relationships with help of $1 million investment

SAN JUAN — With the goal of improving the quality of life of senior citizens, or older adults, as MCS refers to this growing demographic, the health insurer’s latest initiative, “Tu Ruta para el Bienestar,” or (“Your Path Toward Wellbeing”), intends to help that sector of the population approach their wellbeing as actively as possible

With a $1 million investment, the program looks to go beyond providing healthcare by also addressing other social determinants of health that affect the population in Puerto Rico, particularly in areas related to community engagement, explained MCS Chief Medical Officer Inés Hernández.

“When we talk about the promotion of health, which has been the north of our programs for a while, we are not just talking only about treating illnesses, we are talking about taking people to an optimal level of wellness,” the CMO said.

“When we look at the literature, we find that 29 percent of the [senior] mortality could be reduced if we have people being socially active,” Hernández said, adding that another factor that must be addressed is loneliness, which is exacerbated on the island due to the waves of outmigration stateside by family members.

(Courtesy)

For her part, Anabelle Carrión, MCS vice president of Health Promotion Programs, explained that the Ruta al Bienestar will offer cooking and gardening classes, physical activities such as “bomba” aerobics, and social media training, and will consist of various social activities. Participants can also receive hairstyling and makeup services by National University College students.

“We believe that the promotion of health is the key piece for the person to enjoy their life, to enjoy quality of life, and that is a right of everyone, of every age,” Carrión said, detailing that the initiative will consist of 30 activities a month.

MCS CEO Jim O’Drobinak indicated that the program exemplifies the combination of healthcare, healthy lifestyle and community engagement, which are MCS pillars, contained in its marketing campaign, Vivela MCS. 

MCS CEO Jim O’Drobinak (Juan José Rodríguez/CB)

“This is about making people happy and having good lives, and if you can’t spend money on people having a good life, you’re not a good company. We are a great company, so we [invest] in that,” O’Drobinak said. “We believe in providing healthcare, obviously, to our members, that’s first and foremost what we do. We want to be the people that provide the best healthcare. Second thing we do is we want you to have a healthy lifestyle, we want you to do things that are fun, we want you to things that are community.”

This is not the first time MCS efforts focus on the older population. The insurer’s charity arm, MCS Foundation, announced last year that it was looking to finance initiatives that would help senior citizens. The foundation, which works by MCS matching all donations, has donated about $1 million since the hurricane. 

The initiative’s launch event was attended by representatives of organizations collaborating with Ruta para el Bienestar such as YMCA San Juan, YMCA Ponce, Asociación Acción Social de Puerto Rico and the Salvation Army.