More

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.

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

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?

Courtesy of Creative Commons
True

After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

"I was entered into a lottery and I just said to myself, 'Okay, this is going to work out,'" Jackson said. "The next thing I knew, I had won the lottery — in more ways than one."

Keep Reading Show less

History books are filled with photos of people we know primarily from their life stories or own writings. To picture them in real life, we must rely on sparse or grainy black-and-white photos and our own imaginations.

Now, thanks to some tech geeks with a dream, we can get a bit closer to seeing what iconic historical figures looked like in real life.

Most of us know Frederick Douglass as the famous abolitionist—a formerly enslaved Black American who wrote extensively about his experiences—but we may not know that he was also the most photographed American in the 19th century. In fact, we have more portraits of Frederick Douglass than we do of Abraham Lincoln.

This plethora of photos was on purpose. Douglass felt that photographs—as opposed to caricatures that were so often drawn of Black people—captured "the essential humanity of its subjects" and might help change how white people saw Black people.

In other words, he used photos to humanize himself and other Black people in white people's eyes.

Imagine what he'd think of the animating technology utilized on myheritage.com that allows us to see what he might have looked like in motion. La Marr Jurelle Bruce, a Black Studies professor at the University of Maryland, shared videos he created using photos of Douglass and the My Heritage Deep Nostalgia technology on Twitter.

Keep Reading Show less
Courtesy of Creative Commons
True

After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

"I was entered into a lottery and I just said to myself, 'Okay, this is going to work out,'" Jackson said. "The next thing I knew, I had won the lottery — in more ways than one."

Keep Reading Show less

'Love is a battlefield' indeed. They say you have to kiss ~~at least~~ a few frogs to find your prince and it's inevitable that in seeking long-term romantic satisfaction, slip ups will happen. Whether it's a lack of compatibility, unfortunate circumstances, or straight up bad taste in the desired sex, your first shot at monogamous bliss might not succeed. And that's okay! Those experiences enrich our lives and strengthen our resolve to find love. That's what I tell myself when trying to rationalize my three-month stint with the bassist of a terrible noise rock band.


One woman's viral tweet about a tacky mug wall encouraged people to share stories about second loves. Okay, first things first: Ana Stanowick's mom has a new boyfriend who's basically perfect. All the evidence you need is in the photograph:

Keep Reading Show less
via Saturday Night Live / YouTube

Through 46 seasons, "Saturday Night Live" has had its ups and downs. There were the golden years of '75 to '80 and, of course, the early '90s when everyone in the cast seemed to eventually become a superstar.

Then there were the disastrous '81 and '85 seasons where the show completely lost its identity and was on the brink of cancellation.

Keep Reading Show less