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Geriatric High

Combine nursing homes and schools into a more natural cross-generational environment
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(+5, -3)
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This was an idea I had to both combat school violence and the quality of life of the elderly in our nursing homes. Observation tells me that kids are behaviorally different when there are elderly around; even the irresponsible ones straighten up to some extent. Pathos is a powerful emotion that I feel we use to the advantage of school safety and peace, and I also believe that part of the problem is the institutionalized generational gap that we've created in our systems.
Consider how you react when your grandparents showed up. Not 5 minutes earlier, you were driving your parents bonkers, but when granny shows up to the door, the situation completely changes. I'm thinking visitation during storytime for the young kids and some kind of mentoring program for the older kids.
The elderly would benefit from the energy of our kids, as well the motivational factor of having something to do, since they don't get enough visitors anyway. And the kids would benefit as well by seeing a new perspective on the fragility of life and a new respect for seniors, once they got to know them. A similar program could work for the generally handicapped. Frequent exposure would be key, as a one-time school-wide speech would probably not be that effective.
Granted, there would be necessary limitations; those too frail to deal with runny noses and noisy kids would be excluded from the program. Logistically it would be difficult, but I don't think it's impossible. What say you?
RayfordSteele, Apr 26 2002


       I think it would be a way to give the vast majority of the elderly early heart attacks.
globaltourniquet, Apr 26 2002

       Damn. I thought this would be about recreational drugs for octogenarians.
waugsqueke, Apr 26 2002

       Well, if that were the case, waug... talk about BAKED...
globaltourniquet, Apr 26 2002

       Ah you're too young for this place, Meph.
bristolz, Apr 26 2002

       Did the organized bunch-o'-younguns' Rest Home visitation gig when I was a kid
thumbwax, Apr 26 2002

       Familiarity breeds contempt.
pottedstu, Apr 26 2002

       This might combat school violence in some cases, but I'm afraid that it would incite it nearly as much. For physically stronger, low self-esteem kids with a need to dominate, older people are a prime target for abuse and tormeting. My old high school had a football field very near the edge of a large nursing home's property line. All the shady, hookey-playing types gleaned huge amounts of enjoyment from lobbing cherry bombs at the windows of some elderly residents' rooms. And if by some unfortunate chance the occupant screwed up enough courage to complain, they quickly found themselves over the next few weeks plagued with windows marred by balls of mud (and worse than mud). The moral: maybe mixing (often) frail old people with (sometimes) vindictive young people isn't quite the best idea after all.
jester, May 30 2002

       :-( I thought this was going to fill our streets with stoned grannies...
david_scothern, Jun 14 2004

       A very good idea. I am a bit worried the oldies might learn a few bad habits, go on trickster sessions using added wisdom or even lose the plot and go on a shooting rampage. What's there to lose.
wjt, Sep 20 2009

       jester, May 29 2002   

       Eh that's not too hard to deal with. That's why you need paint-ball sentry guns for the nursing home occupant to control.
mofosyne, Aug 05 2014

       I was thinking of the octogenarian cheerleaders...
not_morrison_rm, Aug 05 2014

       So, not a proposal to give recreational drugs to the elderly? Shame - they are surely the group most likely to benefit from them. If I get old, I want to sample the entire psychopharmacological rainbow.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 06 2014

       Skittles... test the rainbow.   

       Hey this reminds me of an idea I never posted.   

       Elderly might work. There might be other variants that would work better. For example: very tall people, bearded ladies, twins, clowns, beautiful women - there is no way to know a priori. Plus must it be an elder similar to the kid's own elders? Would a New Guinean elder work better for rowdy Anglo kids?   

       They should be systematically tested, with quantified results. It should not take long to determine the optimal strategy.
bungston, Aug 09 2014


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