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Call and Check: Some Postal Workers Are Delivering More Than Just the Mail

A New kind of health care delivery

We know that older Americans who describe themselves as lonely have a 45 percent greater risk of dying—and that the population of over-65 adults in the United States is projected to double in the next 15 years. The question of how to approach the health care delivery problems facing this group looms but a number of innovative solutions have been proposed and even piloted.

Having recently explored The Palo Alto Medical Foundation’s LinkAges program, which encourages communities to check-in and offer help to its older citizens, we now turn our attention to the Jersey Post's "Call and Check" program. This program, run by the postal service on Jersey, an island nestled between England and France, offers a creative approach to providing care to the frail elderly.

Click through the colorful slideshow below to read 2010–11 Harkness Fellow Emma Stanton's description of how “Call and Check” offered frail elders such services as check-ins, appointment reminders, and prescription drop-offs twice a week at low cost. Who would have thought of the postal service as a potential source of solutions?

Know of any other innovative approaches to delivering care to older adults? Domestic or international, in practice or being piloted, we want to hear how others are trying to get care to older adults living independently. We encourage you to comment below.

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