In the old days, all generations lived together to help each other, inspire each other, and share what each is best at: the older generations taught the younger generations their wisdom, the children reminded the older how to live and be happy.
This mutually-beneficial arrangement is becoming more and more rare in developed countries. Many elderly people have sadly ended up spending their last days in nursing homes with infrequent visits from their relatives.
However, we still have yet to measure the toll these decisions have taken on all generations of family. Is the price to pay for the so-called “convenience” of having the elderly generation separated and taken care of in nursing homes too high?
A first-of-its-kind experiment in the United Kingdom was created to find out. To do so, they set out to measure the health problems of the aging community living alone, and then recorded their health after six weeks of spending each day with active and happy four-year-olds.
Health of the Elderly: Before and After Children’s Visits
Most of the elderly people in the experiment did not necessarily come from happy backgrounds, but things began to change in a hurry once the kids were introduced into their daily lives.
At the beginning of the experiment the residents of a nursing home were asked a series of questions, and given tests to measure their physical and mental health levels.
The results showed:
- 1/3 experienced depression
- 9/10 found life to be unexciting
- Almost 100% had mobility problems
- Almost 100% were at risk of falling
It all drastically changed after the experiments’ scientists designed and implemented a program of exciting group activities that brought children and the elderly to “play” together. The children motivated the older generation to move more, have fun, and remember their youthful past selves.
In video footage of this experiment we see the elderly engage in the following activities:
- Showing the kids photos of their own childhood and youth
- Competing blowing up balloons using a hand pump
- Running in competitive games
- Playing badminton with a balloon
- Playing word games
- Dancing both standing or in a chair
After all of these activities, the researchers’ main questions was: Can mental and physical health be improved with this method?
The results spoke for themselves.
- 70% of the elderly reported being in a better mood
- 80% had better mobility
- Almost 100% were more excited about life
- Almost 100% reported being more active
See the video footage of the experiment from Channel 4:
The last question posed by these successful experiments is: How can we make this the future of elderly care?
Other Programs Place Elderly Together with Children
The UK experiment is not the only time the older generations’ well-being was improved by being surrounded by younger generations.
These programs are gaining popularity and attention, and will hopefully be the new way of life for the aging community.
The very young and the old are sometimes called the “bookend generations,” which are often the most segregated and forgotten by the other generation aside from the immediate family (and sometimes even by them). Giving them the opportunity to spend more time together can strengthen the family bond, and the emotional well being of all members in the long run.
Another S4C documentary introduced six nursery children to adult day care facility members for three days of fun activities designed by psychologists at Bangor University.
The children in the experiment benefited from an increased attention span, and had a chance to work on their social and emotional skills.
The elderly enjoyed the new enthusiasm and energy the children brought into their lives.
But these two are not the only generations that greatly benefit from close interaction and friendship.
Universities and Retirement Communities Join Forces
In Cleveland, Ohio, college students live rent-free in a retirement community in exchange for small tasks. The students from the Cleveland Institute of Music help walk the residents’ dogs, put on weekly recitals and concerts, and help bring the life back into the lives of the residents. For the students themselves, who struggle with student loans, getting free rent is a lifesaving perk. It is a complete win-win situation.
Spending time with younger people, helps the retirement home residents fight dementia and even regulate blood pressure, among many other health benefits, reported Smithsonian.
The impact of these types of programs are bigger than many think. Research shows that almost all mental and physical problems are caused, triggered, or exacerbated by social isolation.
Social Isolation and Health Decline
Research done by the National Institute of Aging shows that social isolation alone can lead to disease. A person who feels alone has increased levels of interleukin-6 protein, which plays a key role in inflammation. Too much of it is linked to age-related, inflammation-triggered disorders:
This research also made the following conclusions:
- Grandparents who care for their grandchildren stay more active. They are also healthier and happier. (The same is assumed to be true for any elderly taking care of children).
- Social isolation greatly increases the risk of an early death.
- Loneliness leads to elevated blood pressure.
- Loneliness is strongly linked to depression, which in return is associated with decreased overall health for middle-age and older adults.
Universities Making Connections with Retirement Homes
While strong connections and bonds with younger people are ideal, it does not take much to create a world of difference. Rob Lucarelli at the retirement home in Cleveland called Judson Manor, said that just seeing a college student walk by puts a smile on the face of the residents.
“The people here light up when the young people walk through the lobby. It’s really quite lovely,” she said.
Luckily, there is a growing number of universities who form these arrangements with retirement communities.
Some of the senior citizen communities already cooperating with college students are:
- The Forest at Duke in North Carolina
- Holy Cross Village at Notre Dame in Indiana
- Kendal at Hanover in New Hampshire
- Kendal at Ithaca in New York
- Kendal at Oberlin in Ohio
- Lasell Village at Lasell College in Massachusetts
- Longhorn Village in Texas
- Oak Hammock at the University of Florida
- Rivers Run in New York
- The Village at Penn State in Pennsylvania
Besides the U.S., they are found in the Netherlands, France, and Finland.
In a poetic way, one retirement home resident in Finland expressed what it meant for her to have the college students as neighbors and friends:
“I once imagined being the Moon and needing the Sun, so I could shine. Now I kind of expect those youngsters to be that sun for me.”
One of the college students she was referring to had the following message for society:
“The gap between young people and the old isn’t that big that we can’t be friends, and can’t interact and get along. In the bigger picture, we can show the rest of the world that this is a good thing, and it’s worth investing in.”
Watch a TV report about young people living in a retirement home:
Breakfast, blood sugar, & inflammation
Recent research has shown that Inflammation is responsible for 7 out of 10 Deaths in the United States. But it doesn’t have to be the same way for you.
In fact, in a fairly short amount of time, you could start to experience better sleep…less stomach issues…more energy and stamina…less muscle and joint pain…a drop in weight…lower stress levels…and much, much more!
Learn how to Prevent—Even Reverse—Most Major Diseases by “Turning Off” Inflammation!
Did you know that one of the best times to stretch is right before bed? However…
What stretches should you do? Here’s a 1-minute stretch routine you can do before bed...
Lisa, Yoga Coach
eatlocalgrown / wisemindhealthybody
...easy, 3-minute exercise that completely cured his horrendous snoring! We can both finally sleep!
Today is a good day. Tonight will be even better. Why?
Because you're about to learn easy throat exercises that cure (not just treated) your stubborn snoring – in 3 minutes – starting TONIGHT!
...even if straps, sprays and even torturing CPAP masks have failed you in the past.
Most people heal their snoring in just a few minutes per day using these powerful throat exercises. And they're so easy, you can do them, regardless of your age or physical shape.
Use them anytime, anywhere... even while stuck in traffic or watching TV.
Plus the results are permanent!
Did you know that your bodyfat can become "calorie-resistant"?
True. And it's completely unaffected by even the strictest diets... and most intense exercises.
However, there's good news- Calorie-resistant bodyfat can be now removed...
It's a little-known, calorie-burning hormone we all have... just waiting for the right spark to come alive. It's not thyroid, leptin, ghrelin, insulin, adiponectin, HGH or any other "fat loss" hormone you may know. Read more to find out precisely how to unleash its calorie-burning power:
To your health!
PS - Studies show that it can also reduce your risk of diabetes by 53.7%, a heart attack by 83.3% and stroke by 51.4%. Here's more of the scientific proof...
I bet you can’t guess which muscle in your body is the #1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat. This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
If this “hidden” most powerful primal muscle is healthy, we are healthy.
d) Hip Flexors
Take the quiz above and see if you got the correct answer!
In April, 2009, researchers stunned the medical community when they reported chronic inflammation as the root cause of several major diseases.
See, every year 610,000 people in the U.S. die of heart disease. Cancer claims another 584,000...stroke 130,000...Alzheimer's disease nearly 85,000 — and the list goes on.
Truth is, we now know... chronic inflammation is responsible for 7 out of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States! Hundreds of studies and scientific reviews prove it.
Fortunately, newer research shows you can prevent-even reverse-most major diseases by "turning off" inflammation. And in our new book, we show you how to do just that.
If you or a loved one is suffering from a debilitating condition-and you"re not sure what the culprit is-now's the time to find out...while you can still do something about it!
--> Grab your FREE copy of this groundbreaking soft cover book today (while supplies still last.)
Over the past year, my friend Dave over at PaleoHacks has been working on a super secret cookbook project with our good friend Peter Servold a Le Cordon Bleu trained Chef and owner of Pete's Paleo...
And today, this new incredible Paleo Cookbook is finally available to be shipped right to your door for FREE!
The cookbook is called Paleo Eats, and it's filled with over 80 chef created, insanely tasty Paleo recipes which means they are free from gluten, soy, dairy, and refined sugar.
Get your FREE copy of Paleo Eats Here. (Grab this today, because they only ordered a small batch of these cookbooks for this freebie promotion, and they will sell out FAST!)
Sponsored Health Resources
In the years that I've been working on this website project I've come across some amazing resources by some very special people. I'd like to share them with you here.
NOTE: I update these links often so please check back to see what's new!
1) Everyone knows green smoothies are healthy right? Have you heard of a “red” smoothie? If not, check out this story…
2) Forget what you've read about 10-day lemonade cleanses, 7-day detoxes with green juices and Gwyneth's gruel. All you need to do, and this is perfect for Saturday or or anytime really, is a simple 1-day cleanse.
3) This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
4) I thought it was virtually impossible for a website to be able to tell me anything even a little bit insightful after only submitting my name and date of birth... I was wrong!
5) Turmeric is amazing. The problem is - It's hard to absorb!
6) Wonder why your stomach still sticks out even though you're hammering the core exercises every day? It's a common myth that bulging belly is due to weak abdominal muscles.
7) Even if you're the most active of athletes, you may still suffer from tight hip flexors due to the amount of time you spend each day planted to a chair.
Enjoy! Let me know how these work out for you. And if you run across anything I've missed please let me know.