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Old People's Home for 4 Year Olds
E1 of 2
Series 1 - Episode 1
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“To find a child’s hand in yours is one of the most moving things that can happen to you,” sighs Zina, 77. It might sound innocuous but in the context of this lovely programme, where pre-school children arrive to brighten the lives of pensioners, it sums things up nicely.
The joy of physical contact – a hug, a walk hand-in-hand – is just one of the things the four-year-olds bring to the retirement home in Bristol where 11 pensioners have volunteered for an experiment modelled on schemes that are common in the US. Will spending time with youngsters improve their health and happiness in measureable ways?
We’ll find out in tomorrow night’s conclusion, but the heartening scenes of volunteers such as depressed Zina and sceptical Hamish, 88, opening up tell their own story. In one, we see Hamish sitting apart from the group, reading the business pages in an armchair, whereupon little Amaya goes over to offer him an imaginary cup of tea and a carrot, instantly melting his reserve. It speaks volumes.
Part one of two. For six weeks, 10 four year olds will share their classroom with 11 pensioners. In an experiment led by three geriatric specialists, the young and older group follow the same timetable in a new nursery set within a retirement village near Bristol. The senior group will undergo tests to measure mood, memory and mobility during their daily interaction with the kids.
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