There’s a new app called Papa. Here’s how it works: Someone in need of assistance, companionship or just a good conversation can activate the service and enlist the help of a vetted and screened college student. That person can drive them around, help them with household chores, show them how to use a remote or a tablet or even just hang out for the afternoon.
“We believe [the problem of loneliness] is a big portion of what we’re solving,” says Papa founder Andrew Parker. “I think this is going to be a bigger problem over time, even more so than we realize now.” (h/t Fast Company)
For $15 or $30 per month, seniors can request a student or request a particular student to assist them. Each visit costs about $15 per hour, too. Most visits are three hours, according to Papa, but they can last up to 10 hours. The students are paid according to the tasks they perform for the senior, but a minimum visit scores them $10 as well as about 70 percent of the total visit fee. Not bad for doing some good! Do they earn a merit badge, too?
According to a 2017 study, more than 40 percent of the elderly experience loneliness on a regular basis. That has all kinds of detrimental health effects, which is why an app like Papa really can make a difference.