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Geisinger 65 Forward was a lifeline for Neil Caiazzo when he arrived in Wilkes-Barre.

He found better health and friends that feel like family.

Originally from Brooklyn, N.Y., Neil Caiazzo is a retired Teamster who worked the Brooklyn docks for 20 years, was a mechanical engineer for 17 and ran a 45-person maintenance crew for IBM after that. At 62, he retired for the last time.

When Mr. Caiazzo moved to Wilkes-Barre, pandemic lockdowns were in effect, and he felt isolated — until he discovered Geisinger 65 Forward.

Everything he needed for better health — all under one roof

Geisinger 65 Forward, a revolutionary approach to primary care designed for anyone 65 or older, is just one of the perks of Geisinger Gold Medicare Advantage.

“It’s the best program I’ve ever been in as a senior citizen. They take care of everything — your physical aspect and your social aspect,” Mr. Caiazzo, 67, explains. “The minute I turned 65, I was there signing up. I couldn’t wait to get in.”

Members of Geisinger 65 Forward spend more time with their doctors — appointments last up to an hour. X-rays, imaging, lab work and other testing are done right on site.

And each member has a wellness team including nurses, nutritionists, a wellness coach and a pharmacist dedicated to their care.

“Progressively, my life is getting better because of Geisinger 65 Forward,” Mr. Caiazzo says. “My diet has changed completely. They brought my cholesterol way, way down. And best of all, 65 Forward got me out of the house and away from the television during the pandemic. Plus, they’re the nicest people you’d want to meet.”

Mr. Caiazzo also enjoys the exercise classes and state-of-the-art fitness equipment that every member has access to. “I take advantage of everything they have to offer — including the coffee and cake,” he says.

Plenty of ways to meet people and make friends

Because 65 Forward is just for Geisinger Gold Medicare Advantage members, great health coverage comes with unexpected perks, like games, singalongs, educational activities and arts and crafts classes. “When I’m in town, I’m there a minimum of three days a week,” Mr. Caiazzo says. “Sometimes it’s four. Occasionally, it’s five. When I walk in, it feels like that television show, Cheers, where everybody knows your name. There’s a real sense of camaraderie.”

When Mr. Caiazzo moved to Wilkes-Barre, he only intended to stay a short time — maybe just a year or two. His two years are up and, thanks to his friends at church and at Geisinger 65 Forward, he says he thinks he might just be here a while longer.

“I was a stranger in a strange land when I moved here,” he says. “Thank God I hooked up with the people at 65 Forward, because I was all by myself. I had no friends here. From day one, they were nothing but wonderful to me. They’re like family now.”

Next steps:

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