You can't see the loneliness from the outside.

The lawn is well-groomed, and there are flower pots and small plastic windmills in the front yard.

A young couple or a family with children could live in the small bungalow in Miami.

But the landlord is 92 years old, lives alone and can no longer come to the door without outside help.

Genaro Gomez is sitting in an armchair in the living room: hooded sweatshirt, wool hat, oxygen tube under his nose.

It's cool and dark in the house, the blinds are drawn.

"It's a better way for me to relax," Gomez says.

Everything he needs in everyday life is around him: a small refrigerator, a bowl of bananas, a cupboard with medicines.

He can not only control the television by remote control and mobile phone, but also the surveillance cameras in his garden.

"My command center," says the 92-year-old and laughs.

He used to live in California, worked as an actor and dancer, and there was always something going on.

He even played in the western series Bonanza, as he proudly proves in a YouTube video.

Today all he wants is peace and quiet: "I'm glad I live alone.

At least nobody can tell me what to do.”

But then came the pandemic.

Gomez's assistant, who usually shops and cooks for him, fell ill.

But the carers simply had no time for anything that went beyond physical care.

At 92, without family or friends, Genaro Gomez suddenly felt very helpless.

"I hadn't eaten anything for two days.

I didn't know who to call.

No food, no money, no support.”

On the Internet he came across the company “Join Papa”, which arranges what are known as rent-grandchildren: young people who keep older people company for a fee.

In many cases, this is covered by health insurance, as is the case with Genaro Gomez.

Because it has long been clear that loneliness not only hits the mind, but also makes you ill.

In a study, the social association AARP estimates the costs that the American health system incurs due to lonely people at 6.7 billion dollars per year.

In Great Britain there has even been a minister for loneliness since 2018.

Every morning at 10 a.m. Ralf Gawel is at Genaro Gomez's door.

At the age of 67, the German emigrant is a little older than his grandchildren.

Genaro Gomez still calls him a "young boy".

Gawel mixes a kale smoothie, frys a fried egg, sits in the living room to chat with his "grandfather".

But before they talk about philosophy, Genaro Gomez interrupts him again.

"The smoothie is bitter," says the senior and gives back the plastic cup.

"Yes, King Gomez," replies Gawel.

There is not much time for conversations, the health insurance only pays for one hour a day.

Sometimes Gawel stays longer – he doesn't see his rental grandchild existence as a job, but rather as a volunteer position.

"I'm divorced, but I have two children," says Gawel, who worked as a TV producer for years.

"During the pandemic, I often asked myself how older people who no longer have any caregivers have to do." The fact that rented grandchildren only earn between eleven and fourteen dollars an hour does not bother him.

"For me it's not a business, it's a profit.

We can learn so much from older people.”