A Nursing Home in China Offers Recent Grads Cheap Rent in Return for Spending Time With Seniors

iStock.com/PamelaJoeMcFarlane
iStock.com/PamelaJoeMcFarlane

One of the most overlooked problems people face as they age is isolation. Loneliness touches one-third to one-half of the elderly population, and it can have tangible effects on their physical and mental wellbeing. One retirement home in China is combating this issue by inviting young adults to keep residents company in exchange for discounted rent rates, Sixth Tone reports.

Sunshine Home, a privately run, state-funded senior living center in Hangzhou, China, welcomed about a dozen 20-somethings into the facility this past July. Costing just 300 yuan, or about $44, a month, the home is an affordable option for many recent college graduates looking to start their careers in the city. As part of the deal, they're asked to spend at least 20 hours a month with the elderly tenants, either by reading to them, chatting, showing them how to use their smartphones, or leading classes.

The arrangement is a win-win for both age groups: Young residents get an inexpensive place to live and the seniors get companionship they may not have had otherwise. Sunshine Home, which was built last year, still needs to fill about 1400 of its 2000 beds.

Most senior living facilities don't share this problem with Sunshine Home. Elderly populations are booming around the world, including in China, and many nursing home are struggling to make room for the influx of new residents. Whether the model is able to succeed on a wider scale is still to be determined, but Sunshine Home's project has received mostly positive feedback from participants so far.

Young people don't necessarily need to share a home with lonely seniors to offer them companionship. Teenagers volunteering through the California-based nonprofit Forget Me Not keep older adults company by chatting with them on the phone.

[h/t Sixth Tone]

Kodak’s New Cameras Don't Just Take Photos—They Also Print Them

Your Instagram account wishes it had this clout.
Your Instagram account wishes it had this clout.
Kodak

Snapping a photo and immediately sharing it on social media is definitely convenient, but there’s still something so satisfying about having the printed photo—like you’re actually holding the memory in your hands. Kodak’s new STEP cameras now offer the best of both worlds.

As its name implies, the Kodak STEP Instant Print Digital Camera, available for $70 on Amazon, lets you take a picture and print it out on that very same device. Not only do you get to skip the irksome process of uploading photos to your computer and printing them on your bulky, non-portable printer (or worse yet, having to wait for your local pharmacy to print them for you), but you never need to bother with ink cartridges or toner, either. The Kodak STEP comes with special 2-inch-by-3-inch printing paper inlaid with color crystals that bring your image to life. There’s also an adhesive layer on the back, so you can easily stick your photos to laptop covers, scrapbooks, or whatever else could use a little adornment.

There's a 10-second self-timer, so you don't have to ask strangers to take your group photos.Kodak

For those of you who want to give your photos some added flair, you might like the Kodak STEP Touch, available for $130 from Amazon. It’s similar to the regular Kodak STEP, but the LCD touch screen allows you to edit your photos before you print them; you can also shoot short videos and even share your content straight to social media.

If you want to print photos from your smartphone gallery, there's the Kodak STEP Instant Mobile Photo Printer. This portable $80 printer connects to any iOS or Android device with Bluetooth capabilities and can print whatever photos you send to it.

The Kodak STEP Instant Mobile Photo Printer connects to an app that allows you to add filters and other effects to your photos. Kodak

All three Kodak STEP devices come with some of that magical printer paper, but you can order additional refills, too—a 20-sheet set costs $8 on Amazon.

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Monitor Your Cat's Health at Home With This Litter Box Sensor

The WeCare Smart Health Monitor for cats may help you save money on veterinary bills.
The WeCare Smart Health Monitor for cats may help you save money on veterinary bills.
Bill Oxford/iStock via Getty Images

Monitoring a cat’s health can be tricky. Often, conditions like weight gain or loss, urinary tract infections, arthritis, or heart disease can be difficult to spot. Wrangling a cat for veterinary check-ups is no picnic, either.

A new start-up called CatLink is offering an alternative. Their WeCare Smart Health Monitor is a scale and activity sensor that fits underneath a cat’s litter box and tracks changes in weight or frequency of visits to help spot health problems early. For a limited time, it’s available for $49 on Kickstarter.

The WeCare Smart Health Monitor uses a scale to keep track of your cat's health status.CatLink

The WeCare spots sudden weight gain as well as weight loss, which can indicate health conditions from heart disease to diabetes. The scale also measures how frequently a cat uses the box. Urinating too often, for example, could mean a urinary tract infection. Staying in the box too long might be a symptom of bladder stones. The WeCare app compiles this data and alerts owners to unusual behavior.

If you live in a multi-cat household, the WeCare is able to differentiate between cats using weight as a guide. It’s also adjustable, so you can fit virtually any size litter box on top of it.

The WeCare has exceeded its Kickstarter goal of $2000 and is currently taking orders. The scale is 50 percent off for early bird backers at just $49, but there is a limited supply of those bundles left. However, the next bundle is just $10 more, and those are fully in stock. The WeCare Smart Health Monitor is expected to ship beginning in October.

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