All posts tagged: significant improvements

Dear Therapist: My Mother Is Leaving Her Home to My Incarcerated Brother

Dear Therapist: My Mother Is Leaving Her Home to My Incarcerated Brother

Dear Therapist, I am the older sibling; I have a younger brother. My brother is incarcerated. When he is released, he will be in his late 50s and will have no assets. As a felon and a sex offender, he will probably have difficulty finding a good job. He will move in with my mother, assuming she is still living. My mother has chosen to leave her mortgage-free home and its contents to him, and to divide the rest of her assets equally between us. There are no conditions in place, such as leaving the property in a trust, to deal with his possible recidivism, marriage, or financial irresponsibility (he has a history of foreclosures). The rest of her assets are not much, because she has spent so much on his legal fees and continues to support him financially while he is in prison. She is making significant improvements to her house, which will be his house. The value of his inheritance will continue to increase, while her liquid assets will continue to decrease. In …

A Simple Social Experiment to Boost Vaccination

A Simple Social Experiment to Boost Vaccination

This article was originally published in Knowable Magazine. Death from colorectal cancer can be prevented by regular screenings. Controlling high blood pressure could prolong the lives of the nearly 500,000 Americans who die from this disease each year. Vaccinations help prevent tetanus, which could otherwise be lethal. Clearly, preventive medicine can make a big difference to health. And yet most people don’t get the preventive care that could save their lives. Indeed, as of 2015, only 8 percent of U.S. adults 35 and older had received all immunizations, cancer screenings, and other high-priority services recommended for them. Researchers seeking to change that are borrowing a page from Facebook, Google, and other tech companies. By rapidly comparing small differences in how they communicate with patients—a process known as A/B testing—health-care workers can quickly learn what works and what doesn’t. The approach has already delivered several actionable improvements, though not everyone is convinced of its value. Tech-oriented companies use A/B testing to make decisions about marketing slogans, web-page colors, and lots of other options. The key is …