ONE FOR YOUNG AND OLD
IT’S a pleasure to rejoin this remarkable social experiment and the beautiful souls, old and young, who are bonding through it. For those who missed last week’s premiere, 11 four-year-olds have joined the same number of senior citizens at a Sydney retirement village in combined classes designed to test their respective skills as well as provide them with rare companionship and connection. Tonight, the class is set a memory challenge and it reminds a few of the older residents of all they feel they are losing. It’s desperately sad to watch the fear and confusion that seems to control them, while the four-year-olds have their own apprehensions to deal with; forced to come out of their shell and work with a grown-up to problem solve. The kids and their older classmates are paired up and sent out to test their memory in a maze and the results are heartwarming. I’ve got a particular soft spot for little Tyrone (pictured with 86-year-old Shirley), a shy boy who is so gentle with the older residents, I just want to reach through the TV screen and hug him and his parents for raising such a gorgeous child. There are two more episodes to go in this fantastic series, which hopefully will become a model for real intergenerational programs across other retirement villages and nursing home facilities.