An app brings on-demand grandkids to lonely seniors

Feb 25, 2019, 8:07 AM EST

Technology is providing a remedy for a malady it has contributed to – loneliness among senior citizens. An app, called Join Papa, lets elderly people book “grandchildren on demand,” who in turn are paid on hourly basis for the time they spend with these seniors.  

In America, where half of the population is lonely and the cost of loneliness for Medicare is $6.7 billion a year, the idea of app-enabled human contact has gained traction, especially among private insurers, notes The Wall Street Journal.

Previous studies have concluded that loneliness among seniors exacerbates cognitive decline, depression, stroke, and multiple other problems. The “rent-a-grandkid” model connects thoroughly vetted college students with elderly people to facilitate an essentially “instructive companionship” to help the latter broaden their social lives, writes Fast Company.