The first series of Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds was broadcast on Channel 4 in 2017. An experiment inspired by a revolutionary American scheme brought together the very young and the very old for a six week period to attempt to prove scientifically that these two generations can transform the physical, social and emotional well-being of the older volunteers for the better.
This second series saw a nursery created within ExtraCare’s Lark Hill Village in Nottingham, the largest retirement community in the UK and home to more than 420 residents ranging in age from 60-102. Ten older adults and ten four-year-olds shared daily activities designed by experts who measured and analysed the older group's physical and mental progress over twelve weeks. And this time, the benefits on the children were also evaluated.
The ExtraCare Charitable Trust’s Chief Executive, Mick Laverty, said: “We’re so pleased to have had the chance to work with Channel 4 on this ground-breaking series. It’s exciting to see the positive effect that spending time with the children has had on those residents involved. As a charity we exist to enable better lives for older people which is why we’re committed to continuing our intergenerational work.
"We already know from research with Aston University that our unique approach to homes, lifestyle and care, if needed, reduces the symptoms of depression so often linked to isolation, mobility issues and loneliness for residents in our villages.”
The 2017 series was a huge ratings hit for Channel 4 in the UK, and returned in December that year for a Christmas special. The show was nominated for a BAFTA award and won Best Brand Driven Format and Best Factual Entertainment Format at the 2018 International Format Awards.
For more information on our intergenerational practice and the benefits of bringing older and younger people together, ExtraCare's lead on intergenerational activity, Michael Spellman, has written a blog post:
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