Psychologists from Bangor University conducted a unique social experiment, placing pre-school children and older adults in a shared recreational space to observe whether the two age groups have anything in common.
Hen Blant Bach, which begins tonight on S4C, is a three part documentary which looks at the interactions between two generations, as nursery children visit a centre for the elderly.
The programme captures what can happen when the six children share their day care with a group of pensioners, they share activities while being studied by psychologists, who observe the potential transformational effects it can have.
Dr Catrin Hedd Jones, a psychologist and lecturer in dementia studies at Bangor University said: “Solitude can be an increasing problem as people get older and we know the older generation has so much to offer. In this way, older people have the opportunity to contribute rather than simply to receive care.
“What we found was that just a few days in each others’ company resulted in some life affirming interactions, with both care staff and service users commenting on how beneficial the intergenerational project had been. But this was not just about helping elders: the children enjoyed the increased attention too, and had more opportunities to develop their social and emotional skills.
“Admittedly, this is just one three-day example. But there is plenty of research confirming that bringing generations together can and should be the way forward for care systems.”
The strategically placed cameras ‘hear every whisper’ as the two generations interact.
Hen Blant Bach, will be shown over three episodes, starting at 8pm on Sunday, December 10 on S4C.
Welsh and English subtitles are available and the programme will be available on demand on s4c.cymru, BBC iPlayer.