Archive | November 2013

Portraits of elders

Elder portrait

Beautiful photos of elders. It’s rare that we see these. We spend a lot of time talking about ageing and elders, but we rarely highlight the beauty of years of laugh lines, eyes that have seen generations grow, and skin that has truly weathered the storms. Ageing is beautiful, and the photographer Danny Santos II depicted it when he photographed seniors for Project Silverline, an initiative by SingTel to put refurbished iPhones in the hands of seniors, to enhance their interactions, their health, and ease the sense of isolation many elders feel. To see the photos that Danny took of seniors in Singapore, click here.

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Modern Aging: inBelly

Today’s blog post is written by Kristina Saudargaite who is the founder of inBelly. This organization is already helping children at schools to have better food by identifying and classifying additives. Now, inBelly wants to branch out to another sensitive target group, the elderly. Read Kristina’s story here:

My name is Kristina Saudergaite and I love food. I love eating, cooking, going to the grocery store etc.  I also love knowing what I eat. For this purpose, my friends and I once looked at the ingredient list. We saw many chemical names that we could not understand or tell how they affect our health. Thus, we checked.

The results shocked us! Commonly used E250 is classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as probably carcinogenic to humans or in simple words it is likely to cause cancer. E211 or sodium benzoate is not harmful on its own; however, it reacts with vitamin C and releases benzene – a known toxin. And who does not eat products often containing E211 such as shrimps together with a slice of lemon or maybe drinking Must with a salad

These are only a few examples; but food is increasingly stuffed with chemicals and this puts our health at risk.

The amounts of additives that may cause adverse effects are regulated by the EU. The problem lies in the fact that tests are made on healthy individuals (or animals). However, sensitive subgroups such as the elderly may be much more susceptive to the additives and adverse health effects related to them. Nursing homes do not have enough information to make sure that the food they buy do not contain harmful ingredients.

inBelly has the expertise and a rigorous database on food additives. Moreover, we have a technological solution that enables to quickly check if a product contains anything harmful.

In Sweden we have found many food products containing additives banned in other countries, such as Canada and/or linked to diseases. This knowledge exists in academia and in public documents but since the information is presented in a complicated and scattered manner, it rarely reaches the wider public. inBelly is unique since it uses official and scientific information about food additives and depicts it in a non-scientific “easy-to-understand” kind of way. The app simply shows a sign indicating that the scanned product contains additives banned in other countries. Our service innovation lies in using a mobile solution to translate knowledge from academia into simple visual signs in order to make the information quickly and easily available to everyone. With our mobile app people can scan barcodes and get information whether this particular product contains any ingredients that may be linked to diseases. The initiative won the Stockholm Innovation award in the service category 2012.

We are currently using this knowledge to help pre-schools to choose better food. We are cooperating with the chef at Globala Gymnasium to go through the products they purchase and analyse if any of them contain additives that may be harmful. This helps the institutions to ensure better food.

Since the elderly, similarly to children, is a sensitive group, we plan to offer our services to help nursing homes to go through the food they serve the elderly and check if they contain harmful additives. This would ensure good quality food and best possible health and wellbeing for the elderly.

Follow inBelly on facebook.com/inBelly or on Twitter @inbelly_guide

Source: http://www.socialinnovation.se/sv/modern-aging-blog-inbelly/

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Modern Aging: Cross-generational housing

Three young women have come up with an idea that solves two problems with one solution; social isolation among elderly and shortage of housing for students. Here is their story;

Gabriela, an economist from Czech Republic; Bibiana from Colombia with higher education background in political science and Kika from Spain with higher education background in history. Although each of us had different reasons to move to Sweden, our interest in entrepreneurship and innovation in the social sector brought us together.

Daily, we encounter people around the city that even though they are senior they manage to live independently by themselves. At first, we were positively surprised by this, but when we looked closer on the psychological and social factors that affect the health and quality of life among the older people, we realized that loneliness is one of the most important problems within this population in Sweden. A problem that becomes very costly for society in the cases where it leads to depression, additional to the obvious personal suffering for the people being lonely.

Our innovation is to develop a tool to identify and match older people living alone and having a spare room in their homes with students in need of accommodation in Stockholm. Our project is called Tillsammans, which means Together in Swedish. It is a simple solution with the potential to enrich the lives of both students and elderly by creating daily inter-generational meetings as well as saving money for society.

Our project will use already existing resources; contribute to the social cohesion and strengthen the social networks.

We are aiming to find partners from the elderly care sector, pensioners’ organizations, universities and any other interested in improving the lives of the elderly.

Being part of the Modern Aging program gives us a unique opportunity to meet entrepreneurs, mentors and professionals from the S

wedish health care sector. Thanks to the network of those professionals and their intensive coaching we are building a concept around our idea and turning it into reality.

Old and young

Source: http://socialinnovation.se/sv/modern-aging-blog-tillsammans/

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