These seniors had never used the Internet. What happened when teens offered to teach them?

Teen sisters Macaulee and Kascha Cassaday knew firsthand that elderly folks could rock new technology. Their own grandparents kept in touch several times a week despite living in another city by learning basic Internet skills.

This got them thinking: How could they help other seniors do the same?


So they created the "Cyber-Seniors" program.

Their older sister, Director Saffron Cassaday, recognized the opportunity to tell a story and decided to film the program.

The sisters recruited friends to teach a group of seniors at a local retirement home how to use the internet. Twice a week, the teens would help the seniors learn to use the Internet for the first time.

...It was a little daunting.

Did you know that using the Internet is actually good for seniors?

It's true! Internet usage has been linked to a 20% decrease in depression in the elderly, and it can enhance cognitive function.

Whether Grandma knows it or not, getting online could make her happier and sharper.

It might help their health, but staying connected was what they really came to learn.

With kids and grandkids living busy lives, sometimes across the state or even on the other side of the country, these seniors wanted to use the Internet to keep in touch with the ones they love.

"They see a program like this and they think it's an opportunity to get in touch with their grandkids and to communicate."

The teens taught them how to use video chat programs like Skype, how to stay in touch using social media, how to use mobile technology, and more. Each retiree had a variety of things they wanted to learn, from email to online games. Whatever interested them, a teen volunteer showed up twice a week to help them learn it.

One thing that interested a lot of the seniors was YouTube. So one teen suggested that he and his elderly "student" make a video of their own.

This sparked an unplanned YouTube video-making competition on the side.

The goal: to see who could get the most hits on their original YouTube creations.

All images via CyberSeniors/YouTube.

One senior loved watching cooking tutorials, so her teen teacher brainstormed a cooking video for her to make. Another teen suggested a music video ... a rap music video. (It's actually great.)

Plus, the seniors got to exercise their new Internet skills to promote their videos.

You go, Shura.

But most importantly, the seniors learned new skills that brought them closer to their loved ones.

The teen volunteers even had family members thank them for helping the seniors find new and better ways to stay in touch.

Thanks, helpful teen!

Maybe you want to start a Cyber-Seniors program of your own?

The documentary's website provides everything you need, from downloadable resources to registering your group. You can learn exactly how to do it all right here.

Their website features more about the documentary, including info about the seniors and teens themselves. Or you can check out the trailer right here:

Family
True
TOMS One for One
Courtesy of Houseplant.

In America, one dumb mistake can hang over your head forever.

Nearly 30% of the American adult population — about 70 million people — have at least one criminal conviction that can prevent them from being treated equally when it comes to everything from job and housing opportunities to child custody.

Twenty million of these Americans have felony convictions that can destroy their chances of making a comfortable living and prevents them from voting out the lawmakers who imprisoned them.

Many of these convictions are drug-related and stem from the War on Drugs that began in the U.S. '80s. This war has unfairly targeted the minority community, especially African-Americans.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

Climate change is happening because the earth is warming at an accelerated rate, a significant portion of that acceleration is due to human activity, and not taking measures to mitigate it will have disastrous consequences for life as we know it.

In other words: Earth is heating up, it's kinda our fault, and if we don't fix it, we're screwed.

This is the consensus of the vast majority of the world's scientists who study such things for a living. Case closed. End of story.

How do we know this to be true? Because pretty much every reputable scientific organization on the planet has examined and endorsed these conclusions. Thousands of climate studies have been done, and multiple peer-reviewed studies have been done on those studies, showing that somewhere between 84 and 97 percent of active climate science experts support these conclusions. In fact, the majority of those studies put the consensus well above 90%.

Keep Reading Show less
Nature
via James Anderson

Two years ago, a tweet featuring the invoice for a fixed boiler went viral because the customer, a 91-year-old woman with leukemia, received the services for free.

"No charge for this lady under any circumstances," the invoice read. "We will be available 24 hours to help her and keep her as comfortable as possible."

The repair was done by James Anderson, 52, a father-of-five from Burnley, England. "James is an absolute star, it was overwhelming to see that it cost nothing," the woman's daughter told CNN.

Keep Reading Show less
Heroes

I live in a family with various food intolerances. Thankfully, none of them are super serious, but we are familiar with the challenges of finding alternatives to certain foods, constantly checking labels, and asking restaurants about their ingredients.

In our family, if someone accidentally eats something they shouldn't, it's mainly a bit of inconvenient discomfort. For those with truly life-threatening food allergies, the stakes are much higher.

I can't imagine the ongoing stress of deadly allergy, especially for parents trying to keep their little ones safe.

Keep Reading Show less
popular