Lifestyle & Human Interest

Senior Citizens Pass Down Wisdom for Kids Going Back to School in Viral Photo Shoot


As young students across the U.S. flock back to school this year, a group of senior citizens in Iowa have offered up some timeless advice.

Residents at Garden View Assisted Living facility in Carroll, Iowa, proudly displayed their own version of a back-to-school photoshoot, using a whiteboard and a set of dry-erase markers to share their advice with the world.

Each participant posed with a board that stated the resident’s name, age, graduating class and tidbit of advice.

Much of the advice was simple, encouraging and classic.

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“Get as much out of school as you can. It will be very handy later!” 87-year-old Helen said.

“Good students ask questions!” said 93-year-old Don, who graduated in 1944.

“Pay attention when your teachers talk,” 93-year-old Arlene said.

Garden View Assisted Living Director Kari Nuzback told Best Life that residents were eager participants in the photo project.

“They’re a really fun and outgoing group, so they didn’t think twice about it,” Nuzback said.

The facility has been buzzing with the news of how widespread their photos have become.

“We’re very happy in our close-knit, rural community, so for us to be getting messages from people in Canada and Japan is overwhelming, but it’s amazing,” Nuzback said.

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Nuzback said that residents at Garden View thrive on the social activities and fun-filled culture of living life together and that senior citizens often experience greater levels of freedom and independence at an assisted living facility, not less.

“Of course, every elderly person wants to stay in their own home if they can because that’s what they are used to, but, a lot of times, you gain independence by coming to an assisted living facility because you have so much more choice,” Nuzback said.

“Your children get to be children instead of caregivers,” she added.

Nuzback hopes the viral photos will rekindle the desire for younger friends and family to spend more time with the older folks in their lives.

“They’re the most vibrant people and such a vault of information and, unfortunately, they’re kind of overlooked sometimes,” she said.

“There’s so much value and so much worth in our senior citizens, and clearly the world wants more of them.”

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A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
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