ow can we help older people live healthier, more fulfilling lives? How can we give them joy, hope and restore a sense of purpose? In this talk, Chartered Physiotherapist Melrose Stewart describes a remarkable social experiment that brought together four-year olds and people in their late 80s. Establishing a nursery within a retirement home transformed the residents. Within as little as three weeks, there were marked improvements in their physical ability and mood. By the end of the six-week experiment, nearly all of the elderly people who had depression were no longer assessed as depressed. Melrose explains why the trial was such a success and asks what the lessons for us as a society are.
Melrose Stewart is a lecturer in the School of Sports, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Birmingham and a Chartered Physiotherapist. Melrose’s interests in research are closely linked to health promotion, equity and inclusion. One of her recent and most ambitious project was her expert role in the successful Channel 4 television programme, “Old people’s Home for 4 year Olds” in 2017.