Meet the SilverSneakers® Member of the Year

Meet the SilverSneakers® Member of the Year

She’s an Aetna Medicare Advantage member, just like you. Read Rita Yetsko’s inspiring story to learn how her SilverSneakers membership — a benefit of her Aetna plan — helped turn around her mood and mental health after a dementia diagnosis.

A group of seniors stretches in a fitness class

After being diagnosed with dementia in 2021, Rita Yetsko, 88 years young, noticed her physical and mental health decline. Her doctor suggested that a healthy diet, regular exercise and connecting with friends and family regularly might help.

That’s when her daughters told her about SilverSneakers. This fitness program offers online and in-person classes around the country. Even better, it is included in Aetna Medicare Advantage plans at no extra cost. So Rita began taking Zumba classes at the Groove Fitness Studio in Altoona, Pennsylvania, through SilverSneakers. 

Since then, Rita has seen remarkable progress. Her daughters report that she is back to the vibrant and fun-loving person they remember. And her enthusiasm for Zumba dancing has been infectious. It has even encouraged one of her daughters, who has a severe intellectual disability, to practice Zumba, too.

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"Rita's uplifting health journey is a powerful reminder that we can set and reach new health and fitness goals, no matter the challenge," said Caroline Khalil, Chief Operating Officer of Tivity Health, which owns SilverSneakers. "Her story and the hundreds of Member-of-the-Year nominations we received illustrate the significant impact SilverSneakers has not only on our members but their families."

Rita Yetsko headshot

Rita was honored with the national 2023 SilverSneakers Member-of-the-Year Award winner alongside nine other SilverSneakers members who were selected as finalists — including another Aetna member, Ruth Ann Brenly. Ruth Ann, 96, goes to SilverSneakers classes three times a week at Cheryl’s L.I.F.E. Fitness in her hometown of Millersburg, Ohio.

Congratulations to Rita and Ruth Ann for inspiring and motivating others through their health, physical activity and community engagement.

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A registered nurse is just a phone call away. Call our 24-Hour Nurse Line at 1-800-556-1555 (TTY: 711) to speak with a nurse, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If it’s an emergency, dial 911.

Get the brain-health benefits of exercise. It’s easier than you think

You’ve likely heard that exercise is good for your heart, circulation and balance. But did you know it also has proven brain-boosting benefits that can improve focus, and attention and overall cognition?

Studies show that getting regular exercise can help reduce the risk of cognitive impairment later in life*. In fact, research suggests that exercise can improve the symptoms of dementia. In one study, published in BMC Geriatrics, dementia patients who exercised for six months were more optimistic and less agitated and anxious. All it took was two 45-minute sessions a week of gentle movement focused on flexibility, balance, posture and easing stress.

The good news: You can get the mind and body benefits of fitness through most forms of movement. That includes everyday activities like cleaning the house, strolling with a friend, carrying grandchildren or anything else that elevates your heartrate for more than 45 minutes. *

Register for SilverSneakers today ‒  Get moving with your Aetna benefits

SilverSneakers membership is included with your Aetna Medicare Advantage plan. And it’s a great way to feel healthy and meet new people. SilverSneakers offers live, instructor-led and on-demand virtual classes at nearly 22,000 locations across the country. There’s something for everyone, including dance, fitness and meditation classes at community rec centers and parks. 

To learn more and register, call the Aetna Member Services team. They are available at 1-833-570-6670 (TTY: 711) between 8 AM and 8 PM, 7 days a week. Or go to

Outsmart flu season

Now is a good time to get up to date on preventive vaccines, like your annual flu shot. Check with your primary care provider on when you should receive a flu shot and other vaccines. Or call Aetna Member Services at 1-833-570-6670 (TTY: 711) between 8 AM and 8 PM, 7 days a week, to check on your benefits and vaccine and flu shot coverage.

Best Customer 2023 Newsweek Award

Aetna is a recipient of the Newsweek Best Customer Service Award for 2023.*

* FOR BRAIN-BOOSTING BENEFITS OF EXERCISE SOURCE: Wang S, Liu H, et al. Exercise dosage in reducing the risk of dementia development: mode, duration, intensity — a narrative review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. December 2021: 18(24): 13331. Available at Accessed August 23, 2023.   

* FOR TYPES OF EXERCISE THAT HELP EASE DEMENTIA SYMPTOMS SOURCE: Sampaio A, Marques-Aleixo I, et al. Physical exercise for individuals with dementia: potential benefits perceived by formal caregivers. BMC Geriatrics. January 6, 2021, 21(6). Available at  Accessed August 23, 2023.  

*FOR DETAILS ON NEWSWEEK AWARD: The 2023 Newsweek America's Best Customer Service rankings were identified from the results of an independent survey of more than 30,000 U.S. customers who have either made purchases, used services, or gathered information about products or services in the past three years. Customers evaluated several brands: in total over 200,000 evaluations were collected. The awarded brands each received on average 100 evaluations from customers. For more information visit

For language services, please call the number on your member ID card and request an operator. For other language services:  Español | 中⽂ | Tiếng Việt | 한국어 | Tagalog | Pусский | ةيبرعلا| | Kreyòl | Français | Polski | Português | Italiano | Deutsch | ⽇本語 | فارسی | Other languages…  

See Evidence of Coverage for a complete description of plan benefits, exclusions, limitations and conditions of coverage. Plan features and availability may vary by service area.  Participating health care providers are independent contractors and are neither agents nor employees of Aetna. The availability of any particular provider cannot be guaranteed, and provider network composition is subject to change. SilverSneakers® is a registered trademark of Tivity Health, Inc. ©2022 Tivity Health, Inc.

©2023 Aetna Inc.