Cultivating Connection and Community Among Older Adults: Meet Peppermint
Older adults are more connected and active than ever before. They’re living and working longer. They’re avid tech users who enjoy learning, exploring and connecting with peers. And their share of the population is exploding: By 2034, people 65 and older will outnumber children in America.
These demographic trends point to an urgent need: a sense of community for seniors. Studies have shown that our perception of belonging to a community affects our perception of our physical and mental health, a relationship that grows in magnitude as we age. Simultaneously, too many older adults are also struggling with the effects of loneliness, which can cause health risks as harmful as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
While there are dozens of social media and creator platforms that already create a sense of community for younger people, there are few that are designed to specifically meet the needs of the active and aging 55+ demographic. We believe this growing population deserves unique avenues to “find their people,” so they can make the type of meaningful connections capable of improving their physical and mental health.
Meeting the Unique Needs of Older Adults
Redesign Health has extensively studied the needs and challenges of older adults, seeking to identify potential healthcare solutions for this diverse population as a whole and its subpopulations. Our research illuminated the unique needs of older adults between the ages of 65 and 75, whose preferences and motivators are distinct from the broader population of older adults.
The need for community is a common theme. In our research, 67% of respondents affirmed the importance of “feeling a sense of belonging and like you’re part of a community.” And 76% said it’s important for them to find new ways to engage with existing family, friends and community.
One of our most compelling findings is how online communities can help link social, physical and mental activity to healthy aging. One study of people over age 50 shows that regular internet users are half as likely to experience dementia than non-internet users. Another study found that those who interact with people beyond their usual circle of family and close friends are more likely to have higher levels of physical activity and better moods.
These findings were critical to building a solution for older adults that drives adoption and supports healthy aging. With these insights in mind, we created an experience that fulfills older adults’ joint desires to be part of a community and independently facilitate their own health.
Redesign Health is proud to highlight the recently launched company Peppermint, an innovative online clubhouse community designed to help older adults discover and pursue their passions and inspire others. A subscription-based platform, Peppermint focuses on collaboration, connection and engagement to support adults as they embrace the next chapter of their lives with confidence.
Through The Clubhouse, adults aged 55+ can connect with experts from a wide range of fields—from food and travel to gardening and the arts. This can help older adults find a sense of purpose, reduce loneliness, and maintain their mental and physical well-being as they age.
Clubs - where members pursue their passions and make new friends, connecting over shared interests, collaborating and inspiring each other to grow
Workshops - from container gardening to phone photography, members complete projects in small groups, sharing knowledge and life experiences
Live Events- weekly online or in-person sessions where members meet to learn from experts and discuss the most compelling topics of the day
Collaborations - where experts and members connect over inspiring fireside chats and work together on creative projects – from holiday recipe books to virtual group tours of exotic destinations
Daily Drops - Peppermint’s members-only e-newsletter features popular articles, tips, and hacks from hosts and instructors
Challenges - enabling members to share their expertise and unique skills to connect with others over shared interests, win badges, notoriety, and prizes
Peppermint is designed for simple navigation, so members can become acclimated right away. New members go through a concierge-style onboarding process. After answering a few questions, they meet a friendly clubhouse guide (a human, not a chatbot). The guide shows members how to navigate their personalized dashboard and helps them choose their first activities. A rotating group of guides is available 24/7 to answer members’ questions.
Peppermint’s built-in social networks make it easy to stay engaged. All workshops take place within “buddy groups” of five people, ensuring strong, active participation. Workshops are led by expert content creators and members themselves—starting with a team of 20-plus creators and aiming to expand quickly.
And importantly, all these benefits are available in an environment designed for safety. Peppermint is moderated to prevent, detect and remove potentially harmful content quickly. Security tools and practices are in place to protect members and their data, so everyone can feel comfortable on the platform.
In addition to its subscription model, Peppermint aims to introduce the platform to centers and senior living communities to promote connection and engagement. A number of senior centers affiliated with the Massachusetts Council on Aging (MCOA) have partnered with Peppermint at launch.
Meet the Peppermint Team
Redesign Health has assembled an impressive team of community and learning design experts to lead Peppermint:
Rich Maggiotto, CEO, is an serial entrepreneur and experienced operator who has built and collaborated with high-caliber, global cross-functional teams. He most recently served as the Head of Platform for Tastemade, a modern media company that creates award-winning food, home and travel programming. Prior to the company being acquired by Tastemade, Rich was CEO of ChefsFeed, a culinary media content platform that provided dining guides and inspiration directly from culinary experts.
Craig Parks, Head of Content, brings deep experience in entertainment, branded content, live television and social media. He previously served as General Manager of Brands with Jukin Media and Vice President of Programming for Comcast’s Watchable OTT platform.
Dharshana Tennekoon, Chief of Staff, spent 10 years in various leadership roles with Blue State, most recently serving as its Director of Partnerships and Strategy Operations.
Abby Levy, Board Director, is Managing Partner and Founder at Primetime Partners. She is an advisor to early stage and growth businesses in the health and wellness space, with a passion around transforming the quality of living for Older Adults.
James Quarles, Board Director, is a Venture Chair at Redesign Health with over 20 years of leadership experience at global technology companies. He was most recently CEO of Strava, the social network for athletes, where he doubled its subscriptions business and established it as one of the fastest growing sports brands of our time.
Karthik Krishnan, Board Chairman, is a Venture Chair at Redesign Health. He is the former Global CEO of Britannica Group and an active proponent of lifelong learning. Karthik is an adjunct professor at NYU - Stern School of Business, an NACD Certified Board Director and on the World Economic Forum Expert Network.
Redefining Online Community for Older Adults
At every step, Peppermint is designed to help members form rewarding friendships with people who love what they love. This unique platform provides older adults with the active engagement they need to embrace new challenges, build a sense of community and live longer, happier, healthier lives.
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