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A platform that incentivises young people to create activities for the elderly that would slow down cognitive ageing

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jnikola Jul 22, 2022
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A service/platform that incentivises students, young people, content creators, innovators or brainstormers to create new projects, exercises, daily plans, workshops, courses, meetings, presentations or any other kind of activity that positively affects the cognitive skills of the elderly in local nursing homes.

This idea was inspired by comments in this discussion, created by Darko Savic, and would be a great addition to it.
  • The state doesn't want to invest money in old people, so we need volunteers
  • Students and young people often have ideas and want to do good things, but have no place to implement/do them
  • Nursery homes rarely offer cognitive training through workshops, because it's an extra cost
  • Young people often want to do good, but don't know exactly how
  • Physical activity is good, but doesn't offer protection from poor cognition later in life
  • Entertain older people
  • Teaching older people new skills
  • Engage older people in accepting modern technology and keeping up with the news and innovation
  • Making their life more interesting
  • Promoting innovation and creative thinking in young people
  • Enabling them to meet, see and experience what old age will be like
How would it work?
It would serve as a platform where people can upload ideas, get connected, be guided through the process of implementation and get feedback. For example, if I have an idea how to test my hypothesis that daily cognitive routines negatively affect neuroplasticity and promote cognitive ageing and I want to plan and implement a beneficial routine/workshop of cognitive tasks to some elderly candidates, the platform would review my proposal and assign me the candidates. I could then meet, talk and implement my idea under the supervision of the professional from the certified institution and see if it works. Not only that I had a chance to see if my hypothesis is true, but I entertained older people in the nursing home, hopefully helped them to slow down the cognitive impairment, learned paperwork, planning and implementation of projects and did a nice thing. Plus, I met an elderly and got a clearer vision of how old age will be like (and hopefully decided to do something about it).
The events could include cognitive games, exercise, art. memory, learning new languages or words, new skills such as playing instruments, video games, different routines every day, learning songs or any other cognition-engaging activity.
The projects would not include any medical intervention and would be supervised by medical personnelaatll times.
Why should it work?
Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to develop new neural pathways or connections. Loss of it is often related to cognitive impairment and neurodegenerative diseases. Studies show that neural plasticity decreases as we age.
  • It was shown that more frequents early-life and late-life cognitive activity were associated with slower cognitive decline .
  • There are already some tools that help people to slow down cognitive impairment . They shown that strategic planning, memory recall, analytical thinking, creativity and imagination and kinesthetic learning are functions that, if frequently activated, help slowing down the cognitive impairment. If this platform existed, it would help introducing many tools like this, dramatically affecting the avareness of ageing and neuroplasticity decline.
  • People doing stimulating jobs had lower risk of dementia (study on more than 100,000 participants for 17 years) . Stimulating jobs considered decision-making, managering, job control).
  • High income countries have less cases of dementia than low and middle income countries . In high income countries, more people are employed and do stimulating jobs.
  • What do you think?
  • How could we motivate old people to do these energy-demanding cognitive or physical tasks? They are often giving up on everything that's "too hard".










Creative contributions

Integrate youth in need of rehabilitation into such a program

Subash Chapagain
Subash Chapagain Jul 24, 2022
To make such a service/platform beneficial for both the elderly and the youth involved, I suggest focusing on a specific group of the young population. One such group would be the individuals that are enrolled/admitted in rehabilitation programs for drug abuse and addiction. It is a known fact that after their time in the rehabilitation centres, there are still social and psychological constraints that hinder a smooth re-integration of this demographic back to the society. There are said/unsaid taboos linked with drug abuse which make it difficult for these people to get genuinely accepted into the social life. As such, a program where they can help the elderly population all the while they themselves get the benefits of gradual re-integration might be fruitful. The individuals who are on their course of getting rid of drug abuse and addiction can be incentivised in different ways to socialise with the elderly population, work as their trainers and friends and find creative ways to prove to the society that they can actually be an asset. This will solve two problems at once, increase the chances of social acceptance to the rehabilitating individuals while helping elderly population.
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jnikola2 years ago
Great idea! I actually think that could be very fruitful for both! Do you have in mind some specific workshops that could be interesting for both?
My initial idea was to incentivize young creative people to think of workshops/activities for the elderly. If the re-integrated people are not creative, they can always be thought to implement somebody else's idea, but maybe they can have this kind of workshop already in a rehabilitation facility.
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General comments

Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni2 years ago
This contribution is also relevant here.
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Florin Buda
Florin Buda2 years ago
The best thing that can be done is join elderly houses with orphanages. The kids need the love of the elders. The elders will benefit mentally from being near kids.
PS: not my idea
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