A meeting of generations in Exeter in 2018

Published: 20/12/2017

Bluebird Care Exeter are excited to announce a new collaboration with The Maynard School. Together, we will be launching a new intergenerational project as part of our Wellbeing Programme.

In response to the success of Channel 4's ground-breaking documentary "Old People's Home for 4 Year Olds, Bluebird Care Exeter are taking the next step to recreate the intergenerational project for our Devon customers with The Maynard School in 2018.

This exciting collaboration comes after our successful intergenerational project in Exmouth with Exeter Road School

​A meeting of generations in Exeter

Our Wellbeing Co-ordinator, Emma Perrett met with the staff of Maynard School to create this new project for our Wellbeing Programme. Our Exeter customers will spend some time in the school, engaging with the children. This is very exciting and it will be lovely to see the generations coming together and learning from one another. 

​Our new project has been inspired by Channel 4's recent documentary, which revealed the ways in which boisterous 4-year-olds might be able to help transform Britain's care industry. The ground-breaking documentary saw a Bristol care home open its doors to some new residents - all aged 4. The two groups - old and young - spent their days together, playing games and getting to know one another.
          Bluebird Care Exmouth wellbeing Old Peoples Home for 4 year olds

Improving physical, mental and emotional wellbeing

​The project behind Channel 4's documentaery was set up to discover if the phsyical, mental and emotional wellbeing of older adults might be improved through new interaction and relationships with energetic, lively, active young children. It also hoped to counterbalance the loneliness and boredom that so many older people face on a daily basis.

The majority of the elderly volunteers in the TV programme showed signs of depression, said that they find life "dull" and were assessed as being in poor physical health with a heightened risk of falling. One of the psychology experts involved said that the retirees often haven’t had physical contact with anyone for years. ‘It’s the sort of thing they don’t realise they have missed,’ she added. But at the end of the programme, there were dramatic increases in the resident's phsyical ability as well as their overall mood.
Channel 4 Old peoples home for 4 year olds

Learning from one another

As we get older, we become less mobile, lose friends along the way, and struggle to get out to meet new people.  But Children are open minded. They love attention and take an interest in adults. With the help and encouragement of young children, older adults can be encouraged to do things they never imagined they’d do again, which we saw in the TV show as retirees jumped, danced and rolled around on the floor.

So while we can’t cure arthritis completely, we can increase confidence and activity. Socializing across generations has also been shown to increase the amount of smiling and conversation among older adults, according to one Japanese study from 2013.

​Another great impact of such projects is on the attitude of younger generations towards older people. Children who have early contact with older people are less likely to view them as incompetent—and simply exposing children to positive depictions of elders makes them less likely to exhibit ageism.
channel 4 old peoples home for 4 year olds