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Old People’s Home for 4 Year olds - Channel 4’s heart-warming documentary series about intergenerational care - will be returning to our television screens once again for an hour-long Christmas special.
The festive return will be shown on Monday 18 December at 9pm and will see residents at St Monica Trust and the nations favourite bunch of cheeky four-year-olds preparing for a fun-filled carol service.
Channel 4’s commissioning editor for factual entertainment, Lucy Leveugle said: “With social isolation amongst the elderly such an issue, seeing the impact the children had on the older adults made not only for a heart-warming watch but had real-life legacy.
“We are delighted to be back at St Monica Trust to see how our contributors’ lives have changed and to highlight the very real issue of loneliness amongst the elderly at Christmas.”
Social isolation is one of the biggest problems for older people and never more so than during the Christmas period. Loneliness can impact hugely on an individual’s health with a recent report suggesting it can be as damaging to health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
Channel 4’s two-part series, which aired in August, was inspired by a revolutionary American scheme. The show brought together a group of older people and a group of four-year-olds for a six-week period to attempt to prove scientifically that these two generations can transform the physical, social and emotional wellbeing of the old volunteers for the better.
For the first time, a team of geriatric specialists medically tested the impact the children had on the older group and delivered significant results, showing major improvements in their mood, memory and mobility.
The three specialists – Professor Malcolm Johnson, Dr Zoe Wyrko and Dr Melrose Stewart – will return for the Christmas special to give their insight into the continued progress of the older group as well as focusing on loneliness and its impact on the elderly, paying particular attention to why Christmas is such a tough time for older people.
Chief executive of St Monica Trust, David Williams said: “It’s an absolute pleasure to welcome CPL and the children back to the Trust to film the Christmas special.
“The Trust has worked in partnership with Age UK on a number of community initiatives in Bristol and we’re excited to be helping them spearhead this national campaign to highlight social isolation among the older population.”
Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK added: “At Age UK we’re thrilled that this much-loved show will be highlighting the loneliness and isolation that suck the joy from life for so many older people, and the simple things we can all do, at every age, to help them, both at Christmas time and throughout the year.”