Channel 4 Documentary Studies Affect Young Children have on the Health of Care Home Residents 

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A recent study published in the news claims that being lonely is deadlier than obesity in the elderly. Channel 4’s new programme is hoping to tackle loneliness with their new study ‘Old People’s Home for 4 Years Olds’. The programme, running over 2 episodes, concentrates on proving a thesis that suggests being around young children can transform the physical, social and emotional wellbeing of the older people for the better.

The team examining the affect younger children have on care home residents will be lead by a gerentologist, a geriatrician and a physiotherapist, who will analyse the physical and mental progress of each resident. The group of scientists will monitor resident at a care home run by the St Monica Trust - a Trust that operates retirement communities across Bristol and North Somerset.

The structure of the programme will follow young children and elderly care home residents, who will follow the same timetable for 6 weeks. At the end of the experiment, the team are hoping to scientifically prove that by bringing the two generations together, the mental and physical health of the elderly improves.   

The residents taking part in the experiment have openly discussed their own struggles with depression, lack of mobility and loneliness. Yet, in one of the programme’s highlights, 80-year-old Linda - whose mobility is affected by osteoporosis and who was described as being ‘very down’ at the start of the experiment - is seen running across the croquet lawn hand-in-hand with her newfound friend; four-year-old Amiya.

In another one of the programme’s heartwarming moments, a self-confessed sceptic, Mr Hall is seen lying on the floor playing dead lions with the children. Speaking about the experiment, he said:

"Having initially been somewhat reluctant to get involved, I was very pleased to have taken part. They were delightful children and I was pleasantly surprised how well behaved they were."

Another impressive feature in the programme was the openness that residents discussed the problems faced by the elderly. David Williams, chief executive of the St Monica Trust, said: "Everyone at the St Monica Trust is extremely proud of our residents for the bravery they have shown in discussing so honestly the issues that affect older people.

"Seeing the benefits of this ground-breaking project has only strengthened the Trust’s desire to create open communities that actively encourage contact across different generations.

"As well building play areas at all of our sites, the Trust will establish a children’s nursery at the heart of one of our retirement communities, and will continue to nurture the wonderful relationships established by this project between our residents and the children of the local pre-schools."

To see more initiatives and research projects such as Channel 4’s ‘Old People’s Home for 4 Years Olds’, register for your free ticket to the Dementia Care & Nursing Home Expo here. Next year's event will provide unrivalled, expert insight into the care industry through an incredible speaker line-up, whilst also showcasing state-of-the-art products, technology and trends that are reinventing the care sector.

Alternatively, if you are interested in exhibiting to 3,000 care home owners actively looking to purchase products for their care homes, please contact Steve Todd, Event Director, now on:

Tel: 0117 990 2109