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Kids and the elderly go together like peanut butter and jelly! Some nursing homes are catching on.

Finding a nursing home with a program like this could benefit your loved ones' well-being.

It's one of the side effects of aging that the elderly often find themselves needing the care a nursing home provides but having to accept the isolation from the rest of the world that goes with it. Nobody likes feeling lonely, but it ties into a bigger problem — isolation can factor into a person's actual health:

Problem #1: Isolation and loneliness aren't just emotionally hard, they can make people die sooner, too.


"Water is running out of my eyes" — a nursing home resident talks about his emotions. Image via "Present Perfect."

Children can miss out on a lot if they don't get to spend time with the elderly: exercising empathy, the satisfaction of helping others, and gaining a frame of reference for the big picture of their own lives. We're all going to get old! We're all going to need Medicare and Social Security one day. But we can forget that when we don't have enough chances to associate with older generations. All of which defines:

Problem #2: Children these days often don't get the benefit of interacting with the elderly.

Image via "Present Perfect."

"Children involved in intergenerational relationships see enhanced social skills, better academic performance, less risk of using drugs and an enhanced sense of stability." — Dr. David Lipschitz, "Intergenerational Relationships Benefit All Involved"

A couple of smart programs are solving both of those problems at once.

— College kids can live rent-free in one nursing home in the Netherlands.

At the Humanitas nursing home, one rule is that the college-aged residents must spend 30 hours monthly being "good neighbors" to the elderly residents. That can mean watching a game together on TV or spending time with them when they're ill, which is crucial for helping someone sick keep their spirits up. It can also take the form of birthday fun.

She's celebrating her 77th birthday! This nursing home resident is not in the Netherlands, but this gives an idea of the joy of having someone to bring you delicious treats and love on your birthday. Image by Jack/Flickr.

The other rule is that the college-age residents can go about their lives as they wish as long as they aren't disruptive to the nursing home residents, which isn't hard. Many of the residents are hard of hearing, as the head of Humanitas quipped to PBS Newshour.

— Another nursing home in Seattle hosts a day care, and intergenerational programs a bit similar exist at about 500 nursing homes across the country.

The Providence Mount St. Vincent nursing home in Seattle cares for up to 400 residents, and it also houses an Intergenerational Learning Center program for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years.

Image via "Present Perfect."

Evan Briggs, a documentary maker who is producing a film about the mutual benefits of pairing the young and the old, filmed the Seattle nursing home and relayed a story in her Kickstarter:

"Everyone had just finished a rendition of “You Are My Sunshine" when one of the residents began to share a memory he had of singing that very same song late at night on a bus full of soldiers while serving overseas during World War II.

The clarity with which this gentleman recalled this era of his life so many years ago was breathtaking- the memory seeming to appear before his eyes as he spoke. And though the kids were too young to understand his words, the fact that their presence provided a catalyst for his recollection just seemed to fit in a 'circle of life' kind of way."

GIF via "Present Perfect."

The combining of young people and the elderly results in a surprising melange of moments, as the following film trailer portrays. Some are sweet, and some are frustrating. But they are all very honest and important in developing and maintaining a sense of humanity.

Could we be doing more of this kind of stuff in our communities? Why not bring this idea to your local nursing home and see what happens?

Photo courtesy of Girls at Work

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Girls are bombarded with messages from a very young age telling them that they can’t, that is too big, this is too heavy, those are too much.

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via Lewis Speaks Sr. / Facebook

This article originally appeared on 02.25.21


Middle school has to be the most insecure time in a person's life. Kids in their early teens are incredibly cruel and will make fun of each other for not having the right shoes, listening to the right music, or having the right hairstyle.

As if the social pressure wasn't enough, a child that age has to deal with the intensely awkward psychological and biological changes of puberty at the same time.

Jason Smith, the principal of Stonybrook Intermediate and Middle School in Warren Township, Indiana, had a young student sent to his office recently, and his ability to understand his feelings made all the difference.

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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

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Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

via Pixabay

The show must go on… and more power to her.

There are few things that feel more awful than being stranded at the altar by your spouse-to-be. That’s why people are cheering on Kayley Stead, 27, from the U.K. for turning a day of extreme disappointment into a party for her friends, family and most importantly, herself.

According to a report in The Metro, on Thursday, September 15, Stead woke up in an Airbnb with her bridemaids, having no idea that her fiance, Kallum Norton, 24, had run off early that morning. The word got to Stead’s bridesmaids at around 7 a.m. the day of the wedding.

“[A groomsman] called one of the maids of honor to explain that the groom had ‘gone.’ We were told he had left the caravan they were staying at in Oxwich Bay (the venue) at 12:30 a.m. to visit his family, who were staying in another caravan nearby and hadn’t returned. When they woke in the morning, he was not there and his car had gone,” Jordie Cullen wrote on a GoFundMe page.

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Pop Culture

14 things that will remain fun no matter how old you get

Your inner child will thank you for doing at least one of these.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Swings can turn 80-year-olds into 8-year-olds in less that two seconds.

When we’re kids, fun comes so easily. You have coloring books and team sports and daily recess … so many opportunities to laugh, play and explore. As we get older, these activities get replaced by routine and responsibility (and yes, at times, survival). Adulthood, yuck.

Many of us want to have more fun, but making time for it still doesn’t come as easily as it did when we were kids—whether that’s because of guilt, a long list of other priorities or because we don’t feel it’s an age-appropriate thing to long for.

Luckily, we’ve come to realize that fun isn’t just a luxury of childhood, but really a vital aspect of living well—like reducing stress, balancing hormone levels and even improving relationships.

More and more people of all ages are letting their inner kids out to play, and the feelings are delightfully infectious.

You might be wanting to instill a little more childlike wonder into your own life, and not sure where to start. Never fear, the internet is here. Reddit user SetsunaSaigami asked people, “What always remains fun no matter how old you get?” People’s (surprisingly profound) answers were great reminders that no matter how complex our lives become, simple joy will always be important.

Here are 14 timeless pleasures to make you feel like a kid again:

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