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-Everything has an impact on your life.
-Whatever your age.
From the type of house we live in...
Oh, this looks nice.
Yes, it's been completely renovated throughout.
..To how much money we have to spend.
Your wage ends up being like a normal working wage, which is good.
What we put in our bodies...
I don't think I've ever been fat, but I have put weight on.
..To the secrets of our genetic make-up.
You're going to live to be 140.
That'll do, I'll take everything I can get.
So finding out about all those things and more could help you mature brilliantly.
Or slow down the ageing process just a little.
We've tracked down the very best tips and advice
for holding back the years.
And now, with the help of our team,
we're going to pass them on to you.
To show you how to have the time of your life.
Whenever that may be.
Hello and welcome to the show that really wants to put time on your side.
Whatever age you are. Here's what's on today's show.
More of us are choosing equity release as a way of injecting cash
into our retirement than ever before, but is it right for you?
Bill is on the case.
When it comes to equity release not all experiences are the same
or even equal.
Our resident GP Dr Rangan Chatterjee reveals how you can save a friend's life,
wherever you may be.
You get to go home at the end of this.
Your actions may well result in the person lying on the ground also
getting to go home.
Do you find it harder to keep the weight off as you get older?
Well, it might not totally be your fault.
I went to Birmingham to find out the latest research on middle-age spread.
And you start putting it on and you think, "Where is this tyre coming from?"
And the tyre gets bigger and bigger.
And we go behind the scenes of the country's first intergenerational care home
to see how the old and the young are looking after each other.
They brighten up the whole room.
Just to watch their characters, the way they change,
the way they are comfortable with you.
It's like being in childhood.
Last year more people signed up to an equity release scheme than ever
before. It's a trend that's only set to increase in 2018.
And the reason is that it's seen by more and more people as a way of
injecting money into their own retirement while freeing up cash
for, say, children or grandchildren.
But is it right for you?
Well, Bill has been meeting two women whose experience is far from equal.
Being able to afford a comfortable retirement is usually pretty high up
on the list of priorities, no matter what age we are.
Unfortunately, according to official statistics,
Britain's workers can look forward to the worst pension of any major
developed country. However, there is one thing in our favour.
Around 65% of us own a property.
Which is why equity release has become the latest trend for those
who want to inject some cash into their lives.
But how does it work?
If you've paid off your mortgage, or nearly paid it off,
you can borrow money based on the equity in your home.
In other words, the amount of money that your house is worth.
You get a lump sum in the here and now,
and the money you've borrowed is paid back on the sale of the property,
which will only happen if you go into full-time care or you're not around any more.
The thing you need to remember though is that the company
lending you the money will charge interest on what you've borrowed,
all of which is repaid on the sale of your home.
Your family gets what is left.
Well, that's the theory.
But how does it play out in real life?
We've met up with two people, Helen and Barbara,
for whom the experience of equity release was very different.
So let's start with a positive experience, shall we?
I moved down from London 31 years ago and 12 years ago my husband
and I got divorced and we couldn't sell the property,
so we decided to have it made into two maisonettes, which we have,
and he lives upstairs and I live downstairs, so very happy with it.
It's worked out very well.
And it was about to work out even better because with her newly found
independence and an asset that was all her own,
Helen felt that her flat wasn't a golden egg which should be sat on
she viewed it as an asset
which could be used to help the younger generation.
Well, my son
got married and they are renting and I think it's wasted money,
so I got in touch with a company to come and talk to us both of the
benefits of equity release.
The idea was to release equity from the flat in order to for her son
to get on the property ladder.
The criteria for Helen to qualify for what is known as a lifetime mortgage
included her age, her health, and the value of her house.
But this is no ordinary mortgage, as Helen explains.
You don't pay anything at all.
It just rolls over.
You get a yearly account of how much it is.
They tell you the final amount,
which, when you look at it, can be quite worrying,
but you have to realise you are not paying this -
this is all dealt with at the end.
Helen released 39% of the value of her home,
giving her son £60,000 to get on the property ladder,
and £20,000 for herself.
I'm so glad I could help my son. Peace of mind for me, too.
I love my holidays, so I know that I can carry on having holidays.
I haven't had a mortgage for a long time.
I'm not paying anything now that I wasn't before.
I just, everything is the same except that I've got a bit of money and I've helped my son.
So it's all good news, right? Well, hold on,
because when it comes to equity release, not all experiences are the same or even equal.
Barbara Gale from Sherston in Wiltshire has worried since signing
her contract that she might have made the wrong decision.
It's important to say I did go into it with my eyes wide open.
At the time it seemed like easy money.
But now I'm six years down the road I realise that easy money it may be,
but you pay quite a price.
When she was 62,
Barbara released £32,000 for home improvements and to help her son,
and today, with compound interest, that loan is worth £49,000.
How much I'll actually end up owing on my equity release depends on how
old I am when I die,
but if I were to live until my 90s I would owe all of the house.
It would all be gone.
In fact it would be about half a million pounds,
which is far more than the house is actually worth.
Like many in her situation,
Barbara spent the greater part of her working life paying the mortgage
in order to own her home outright.
Now she's faced with the prospect of leaving a large debt behind her.
I just can't get my head around that I fought for many,
many years to pay a mortgage on this little property of mine,
and it does seem to me that all that effort into finding a job,
keeping the house, paying the mortgage,
has all kind of gone south, because I took out the equity release on
my home and I could end up paying all that money back
to the equity release company and leaving nothing for my family.
For Barbara, short of winning the lottery
to pay off this lifetime mortgage,
there is very little she can do to change her current situation,
which leads to very, very dark thoughts.
I do feel pretty awful.
It makes me actually feel, well, I hope I die sooner rather than later,
which is a bit of a sad way to be going along,
but if I die when in my mid-80s at least there will be
probably about half the house left that I can pass on,
which is the only thing I have to pass on.
So two stories of equity release and two very different outcomes.
Which do you take notice of?
I'm going to need a referee.
Financial expert Jasmine Birtles, founder of the Money Magpie website,
has spent a long time looking at the pros and cons of equity release.
Jasmine, what are the pitfalls of equity release?
You think you're taking out a certain amount of money and then,
because of the compounding interest,
over the years it mushrooms into a huge amount.
And since you're not paying anything back,
that debt is getting bigger all the time.
Yes, exactly. Although over just a few years you might not notice very
much of a difference. Once you get to at least five, ten years,
then you really do see a difference, year on year.
It's growing very fast.
And that can be made worse by the fact that interest rates
in equity release can be higher than with normal loans or mortgages,
which means that if you take out equity release too early
you could end up with a massive debt on your hands,
with no means of paying it off
except any savings you might have tucked away.
So who would equity release work for then, do you think?
People who are probably older, and when I say older, I would say 70 plus.
Ideally they don't have children,
so their children are not expecting some sort of an inheritance.
If they don't have extra money then equity release is a really good way
of using the money from your home but still living in it.
And what sort of people need to be wary of getting equity release?
Younger people, and when I say younger, 55, to 60, for example,
because you could be lasting for 20, 30, 40 years at least there.
So it's really not a helpful thing to take money out of your home
and have it increasing.
And there is one other downside to equity release that Jasmine wants to
highlight. Once you take it out,
it could stop you from moving house ever again,
or indeed prohibit others from living in the house once you've gone.
One of the problems I think of equity release is that certain people have
found that they are basically trapped in their own home and later on,
if they thought of actually moving to a smaller, easier, cheaper place,
they can't, because the amount that their equity release debt has grown
by has meant that they have very little money left, if any at all.
So what's your advice then to anybody thinking of taking on equity release?
Go to somebody who's independent,
who will look at your whole life,
at your family and all of the things that are affecting your life,
and then tell you whether it is a good idea or not,
and, if so, what sort of plan you should take out.
So I guess the main bit of advice we can offer is get advice,
because once you take out equity release there's no turning back.
For information and a list of companies and prices,
you can go to the Equity Release Council.
They provide quality and standards guidelines for product providers to
protect the consumer.
Also it's important to discuss this with your nearest and dearest,
because ultimately it does affect them as well.
But we'll leave the last word to those who have been there.
If you really need some money or feel like you need to release some money,
or you need to help children out, it's well worth looking into.
If you're going to do it, leave it until you're a bit older.
I did it aged 62.
I wish I could have left it maybe until I was 72.
We've asked GP Rangan Chatterjee to be our doctor on your doorstep.
His job throughout the series is to inform and inspire us to better health and longer life.
So today, he's looking at how to restart a broken heart.
Today, I'm in Cheltenham to meet Chris Hickey and his wife, Sue.
Like more than 30,000 Brits,
Chris suffered what's called an out of hospital cardiac arrest last year,
but what makes his story truly extraordinary is for just how long his heart had stopped.
So how long did your heart stop beating for?
68 minutes in the end.
-Over an hour.
-That's a long time.
It's a long time. It's really hard to understand how I can be here.
I still can't believe that, actually -
68 minutes is such an incredibly long period of time.
And yet it was what Sue did in the initial five minutes that ultimately
saved Chris's life.
Sue, what's your recollection of that day?
I was downstairs,
it was our last day of work before we were due to go on holiday and I'd
got up early. It was a lovely summer's day and I just heard this kind of coughing sound.
I suddenly realised it was Chris,
so I charged up the stairs into our bedroom.
It wasn't a regular coughing sound?
No. I knew he was dying, and I witnessed my father's death
and he was making that kind of death-rattly sound.
I literally stood there and had a moment of real sheer panic.
"I can't do this, I'm not expert."
"I'm not trained."
"I don't know what to do."
Incredibly, earlier that morning Sue had read a medical article that
advised people not to panic or seek help outside the house,
but instead to call 999 immediately,
and when she called she got clear,
precise and ultimately life-saving instructions.
Opened the front door, so first responders could get in,
get Chris onto the floor, a hard surface basically, and start CPR.
I said, "I don't know, I don't know how to do it,
"I've never been on a course."
"I'll tell you, I'll tell you what to do."
But she was about to go on a very fast learning curve.
CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation,
and here's how it works.
Basically the heart is a pump,
but if the pump is not working on its own then CPR means you work it
manually using your hands on the chest.
This keeps the blood circulating through the heart and around the body,
ensuring that oxygen continues to feed the brain and vital organs,
and crucially it's the first five minutes that count most
when it comes to getting that blood flowing
until the professionals can turn up to take over.
The fireman had come in.
-The fireman came.
-Then the paramedics.
-Then the paramedics.
-Then an air ambulance arrived.
-And a doctor came.
A doctor and a nurse came with them.
And then did you feel that they were there, they are going to take over?
-Paramedics will sort this out now.
The doctor attempted to start Chris's heart
by sending electric shocks to it via a defibrillator,
but Chris wasn't responding and he doctor told Sue it was time to take
that terrible decision we all dread.
I had a picture on the fridge which I showed him and I just said,
just keep going a bit longer, this is, you know,
a much-loved man.
They went back upstairs and tried for another ten or 12 minutes,
and it's in that time Chris came back.
What a blessing.
And it's wonderful, wonderful.
Surviving 68 minutes without a well- functioning heart is pretty much
unheard of, yet Chris managed it, and there's two main reasons for that.
Firstly, Sue called 999, but secondly, Chris got CPR.
Now CPR was given for five minutes by Sue and then followed up by the
paramedics, and what it does is, it keeps the oxygen and the blood
pumping around your body to your vital organs
and in particular your brain, and there's absolutely no reason
that you can't learn to do the same as well.
A recent poll showed that two-thirds of us would not know what to do
if faced with a cardiac arrest.
But that could be about to change -
certainly if training programmes like this
have anything to do with it.
This is the Eurospa in Maghaberry, Northern Ireland,
where they are pumping their staff full of life-saving CPR lessons.
Today, Alana is being shown how easy it is
by trainer and paramedic Mark Bailey,
and he's brought a little friend.
So we're looking for the V coming up the ribcage,
coming up to that point.
We'll put two fingers above that.
That then is where the heel of our first hand is going to go and then
the second hand will go on top of the first hand.
Our elbows are locked and our shoulders will be directly above our hands.
So we need to compress 120 times a minute, that's twice every second.
Any situation at all where the patient has actually had a cardiac arrest,
CPR will be vital.
For people who have choked and have not been able to get the foreign body dislodged,
where somebody has effectively suffocated or choked because the airways are blocked,
that patient will also go into cardiac arrest,
so any of those kind of situations basically where the patient has
stopped breathing for themselves, CPR is going to be indicated.
So successful has the course been that the company's managers have
even installed their own network of on-site defibrillators,
which makes survival rates rise from less than 10% up to 70%,
if a defibrillator is used
within the first three to five minutes of collapse.
And now it's time for Alana to get a crash course in how to use that.
Apply pads to bare skin exactly as shown in the pictures.
Quite often people will be scared and at the end of the course everybody is a lot happier.
We find that the underpinning knowledge about why you're doing
what you're doing definitely produces better results.
Everyone clear. Press flashing button.
ALANA: You know, people in the community should all learn how to take part in this
as it was a lot easier than what I had expected and it will also help to save a life.
And Mark has first-hand knowledge.
Lives have been saved.
A lady had collapsed in a pharmacy in east Belfast and the staff knew
that the Henderson store just down the road had a defib.
They sent somebody off to get it while compressions were being done
and we got the report the next day that she was sitting up,
slightly sore chest, but well, in her hospital bed.
There's no point in running about like a headless chicken.
It's easier said than done, of course, for people who aren't used to this.
But really, taking two or three seconds
just to focus your mind on what it is you are doing,
you get to go home at the end of this.
Your actions may well result in the person lying on the ground
also getting to go home.
And CPR doesn't just ensure that heart attack victims get to go home.
It also helps them make a full recovery.
When Chris Hickey's heart stopped beating for 68 minutes,
doctors were certain the lack of oxygen would leave him with brain damage.
But the efforts of his wife Sue and the paramedics ensured that even that did not happen.
And it has given him a second chance to make sure that it never happens again.
Do you come here quite a bit? Are you in good physical shape?
Yeah, I am now.
When I came out of hospital,
the day after I came out was the first day we came up here.
You came up here the day after?
-The day after, because the doctor said, "Look,
"you've really got to take exercise, you've got to get out,
-"you've got to..."
-Start your life again.
Start your life again.
Do you take physical activity quite seriously now?
-Each day we try and go a bit further.
You see, I had a sense that you are getting back to who you were.
Chris owes a huge debt to the professionals
who worked to save his life, but none of it would have been possible
without the role his wonderful wife Sue played
in those first five key minutes, when she called 999,
delivered CPR and didn't panic.
That first critical few minutes was what it took, right?
Someone to have the courage to not be put off and not think,
"I've not been trained." You've got to do it. Give it a go.
-That's the key word, isn't it?
because in that moment that was just really stepping up to do it.
In those first couple of minutes you just want the blood moving,
And so that gave us great hope when Chris was admitted that it was...
Something was done.
That maybe we've done enough, you know?
You did do enough, didn't you?
Look at him now! Loving life, you know. Yeah.
There's no doubt that Chris is one lucky man.
But the simple fact remains that if more of us knew CPR,
and if defibrillators were more easily available,
then luck would play a smaller role in the future.
Studies regularly show that exercising your mind with puzzles and games
every day can help keep your brain healthy,
and even up to ten years younger.
Yes. Which is why, just for fun, we've come up with our very own.
All you have to do is watch the following clips
and work when it all happened.
The question is simple. What was the year that was?
So here's how the game works.
We are going to give you a few key events that will happened in the space of a year. But which year?
And here's why you should play along, by the way.
Psychologists have said that nostalgia can promote a sense of wellbeing and vitality in us all.
So this really could help you hold back the years.
# I can feel it coming in the air tonight... #
Just get on your bike and go, go on.
You'll be all right, just stay nice and cool.
# Oh, Lord
# And I can feel it coming in the air tonight... #
# Bending the rules of the game will let you find
# The one you're looking for
# And then you can show that you think you know
# You're making your mind up. #
# Well, the hurt doesn't show, but the pain still grows
# It's no stranger to you and me
# I can feel it coming in the air tonight, oh, Lord... #
What do you think you'll remember most of all about today?
The pushing and shoving!
And we'll give you until the end of the show to work on the answer.
Moving on to a subject I'm sure we can all empathise with -
most of us, anyway. Why, as we get older,
does it become more difficult to keep weight off?
And what can we do about it?
I went to Birmingham to meet the middle-aged spreaders.
-Look at your long legs.
-I know, look at the shoes!
I was normally a very good dancer.
Any nightclub there was dancing, I was always there.
Yes, I can't believe it when I look at it!
That was me when I was 20.
Your legs go on forever.
I've come to Birmingham to meet a slimming group currently engaged
in the battle of the bulge.
I don't think I've ever been FAT fat, but I have put weight on.
You start putting it on and you think,
where is this tyre coming from?
The tyre gets bigger and bigger.
I didn't know what to do to stop it.
In the UK, 66% of men and 57% of women are overweight or obese.
As we get older, the pounds just seem to pile on,
which is exactly the experience of middle-aged spreaders in Solihull,
although they all have various theories
as to why this might be the case.
Do you reckon your eating habits have changed as you've got older?
Yes, You don't do as much and you eat more.
The odd biscuit, the odd slice of cake.
The weight is building up without you realising it.
And yes, obviously when I am stressed out,
you do like to turn to the odd chocolate bar.
Stewart, what about you?
When I was at work, a lot of the times it was,
I used to call it lunch on the run, because I was always at work.
But now I'm retired, I'm at home and I've got more time to eat food,
so I have a tendency to eat more food.
But you're supposed to eat healthily, aren't you?
That's what it's about.
Well, it's interesting to hear that most of the group seem to blame
themselves for their spare tyre.
But it might not be the case.
Researchers have found that the average man and woman
add 1-2 lbs around their middle every year
from the ages of 35 to 55, despite eating less.
I've come to Aston University to meet Dr James Brown,
one of the country's top experts in the effects of ageing on our weight.
Middle-aged spread. When does it actually start?
It really starts around the age of 30, believe it or not.
At that age, we start to see the metabolic rate slowing slightly,
so our metabolism's just starting to slow down,
hormone levels are starting to drop,
and for those of us that aren't physically active,
we start to see a loss of muscle mass and an increase in fat mass.
And recently, scientists have got closer to understanding what might be the cause.
They've discovered that ageing increases levels of an enzyme
called DNA PK.
This enzyme repairs our bodies but it also slows down the metabolism,
making it more difficult to burn fat.
And it's also a different type of fat
than what we see in younger people,
a deeper, less superficial kind.
It's called visceral fat.
This is the fat that wraps itself around your organs,
around your heart, your kidneys and intestines,
and this visceral fat is more closely associated with disease,
so if you've got lots of visceral fat,
you're at a higher risk of diseases like type two diabetes,
cancer and Alzheimer's.
So, how do you check just how much of your weight is visceral fat?
Well, there's a test you can do at home, and for our purposes,
we've enlisted the help of Stuart.
If you measure your waist circumference
and then also measure yourself around the hips,
of their widest part, and around the buttocks,
and if you divide your waist measurement by your hip measurement
you get a number and we can tell from that number
whether you're storing too much fat around the middle
or just the right amount.
-And what should that number be...?
-For women, it's 0.8.
For men, it's 0.9.
-OK, so shall we have a go at doing it?
And we have a measurement of 44 inches.
And then we'll come down...
..to the widest part...
..of your hips and buttocks, which is actually 45 inches.
So, you divide your waist size by your hip measurement and the result
you're looking for is 0.8 or lower for a woman
and 0.9 or lower for a man.
So what's Stuart's result?
You would be just over the 0.9 cut-off for men,
which means you're at a slightly increased risk
of things like type two diabetes,
because you tend to store your fat around your middle.
Now, we know that bad fat is visceral fat,
but what does it do to us that other fats don't?
If you think about what fat does,
so it doesn't just store energy and it doesn't just keep us warm,
it's actually a secretory gland,
so your fat cells right now are releasing as many as 600 different
hormones and other molecules.
But interestingly, visceral fat tends to secrete
very damaging hormones and molecules
and they can damage tissue such as the brain,
such as the pancreas, such as your blood vessels,
and that's why visceral fat increases the risk
of these nasty diseases associated with older age.
And what's also clear is that getting rid of visceral fat takes
a lot more effort than youthful chubbiness.
But it doesn't mean it's out of our control.
Is it true to say that middle-aged spread really is beyond our control?
Not true. We have a lot of control over it, actually.
There are biological things that happen in the body, your genetics,
within cells, your metabolism,
which will influence your risk of middle-aged spread,
but if you control your diet, eat the right foods in the right amount,
if you control your physical activity,
get lots of regular exercise,
you are going to reduce your risk of middle-aged spread.
It is not inevitable.
Well, that's me told.
So, lots of exercise and eat well.
And for some advice about a healthy diet,
I'm talking to physical education teacher Mark Holborn,
-who's been shopping.
-As you can see in front of us,
we've got a big variety of foods that are readily available to us in
supermarkets. We've got the oat breakfast.
Can't go wrong with oats for breakfast.
-I love a bit of porridge.
Now, this is great to provide us with the energy that we need throughout the day.
We also have nuts, lots of oils
and there's healthy fats in there.
-Lots of protein.
Protein is the key here, because we lose muscle mass after the age of 40,
so ideally around 25% of our calorie intake should be in the form of
-Chicken, turkey, really healthy, low in fat, lovely taste.
-You can cook them with anything.
You can even throw them in the omelette with your eggs, you know?
Next, I'm bringing our middle-aged spreaders to a gym
where Dr Brown and Mark have a few tips for them.
So, there are three pieces of advice we want you to focus on
and the first piece of advice is about nutrition,
so that means try to avoid processed foods that have too much energy in
them and to focus on eating more natural foods,
the right amount of calories, so you're getting a healthy nutrition.
The second thing we've got to talk about is the value of exercise.
We know that exercise is really important for a number of reasons.
If we resistance-train, it means that we can build our muscles up.
That can raise our metabolism.
At the same time, because as you get older, the muscles degrade,
we want to keep the muscles still working and keep them functioning.
But most importantly, exercise is proven to reduce your stress levels.
And that's our final piece of advice, actually, is to
make sure you're getting enough rest and a good night's sleep.
We know that increased stress will lead to the increased levels of
stress hormones and they can contribute to middle-aged spread,
so make sure you are getting periods of rest during the day,
a good night's sleep and recovery from any exercise that you do.
Which rather neatly leads us to our final task
with the middle-aged spreaders -
a quick workout in the gym.
Four, three, two, one.
Go. I love that.
Remember, you can do this at home with a broomstick
and just on a chair at home.
Up into the air, into your chest.
This is going to work the backs of your arms
as well as the tops of your shoulders.
As long as they keep it up, then could this go some way to
getting rid of that visceral fat that some of them might have?
It can. We've given them all the tools they need to make
the right lifestyle decisions
so that they can limit their amount of visceral fat.
Good work. Well done, folks.
The thought of exercise and diet doesn't appeal to anyone, really,
but they really do work and that,
combined with sleep and a little less stress in their lives,
really could help them banish the fat wherever it is in their bodies.
That was hard work!
Finally today, a truly lovely story about a unique place that could help
revolutionise how we look after
the oldest and the youngest in our society.
It's Britain's first intergenerational care home,
where caring means sharing.
It's 8'o'clock on a Tuesday morning in south London.
Over there is Nightingale House,
home to 200 residents with an average age of about 90.
And 100 yards in that direction is
the Apples and Honey Nightingale Nursery,
with 30 - on any given day - two to five-year-olds.
Normally, the twain would never meet,
but both have come up with an ingenious way of working
that benefits everyone.
I've come to visit the first place in the UK to offer full-time care
for preschool children within a residential home for older people.
Now, millions of us enjoy spending time with grandchildren,
but for the residents here,
it's a much bigger commitment with much greater benefits.
It's known as intergenerational care
and something we might see a lot more of in the future.
At 9am, the nursery staff bring the two groups together.
And from the off, it's playtime.
So, how did this project come about?
Away from all the hubbub, I spoke to Ali Summers,
co-founder of the nursery.
So, Ali, how did all this come about here, then,
with the nursery and the care home?
We had a nursery in Wimbledon and we brought the children here several
times a term and we thought how wonderful it would be
if we didn't have to leave, if we could just stay here on site,
and here we are.
What are the benefits for the residents?
They are remarkable.
The joy that comes out of them.
Last night, I sat on one of their floors
with a lovely resident named John and I asked him how his week went,
how his day went, what he enjoyed most,
and he said it's visiting the children.
And he said, it's not just me.
And he pointed to another resident.
He said, he doesn't talk to anybody,
and yet when he comes down and he is with the children, he talks,
he interacts, and there was a woman who lives locally with dementia
whose partner and carer bring her to our baby and toddler group
because she just comes alive in the sessions.
And has there been a lot of interest from other people in what you're doing here?
There has been tremendous interest.
We've been contacted by about 20 different groups locally,
around the country, around the world,
asking how we got started, can we help them?
We've had volunteer offers of help
from so many walks of life. It's been truly inspirational.
Time, I think, to meet some of the residents.
Fay Garcia, who's 90,
and Margie Bloom, 91,
are getting ready for the mid-morning snack.
They've found themselves thriving since the programme started.
Hello. Well, this is fun, isn't it?
-It's great fun, yes.
I should think things change quite a lot when
the children come into the home?
Oh, absolutely. They brighten up our room.
Just to watch their characters, the way they change,
the way they come towards you.
It's like being a child again.
So do you think this is a good idea for other care homes to take on?
Yes, I think it's better than all the medicine, all the pills,
and certainly better than putting on the TV and reading the paper
with all the miserable news.
This is wonderful.
And Fay, you didn't have children of your own.
-I never had children.
-So this is a whole new experience?
Absolutely. It's like being reborn.
And Marjorie, do you have grandchildren?
Oh, yes, I have four.
So how do this lot compare with them?
This lot are very good!
But it's not all one-way traffic.
Research also shows that the contact with older people also has
a positive impact on the learning and development of children.
Stirring, stirring, stirring, stirring.
OK, time to test the catering?
Oh, that is good.
-Do you like being at nursery, Nariah?
What do you think is the best thing?
-Oh, you've got balloons.
What do you think of your friends? Do you like your friends here?
Your older friends.
They are nice, aren't they?
Well, this is a lot of fun but here in the UK,
we lag well behind many countries where, for some time,
the very young and the very old have been getting together
and both getting a lot out of it.
Intergenerational care first began in Japan in the 1970s.
It's now found in countries all over the world.
One of the pioneering centres is in Seattle,
where it's been established for nearly 30 years.
Here in the UK, we are just starting to get the idea,
but it could be about to take off in a big way.
Steven Burke from United For All Ages is one of the people trying
to take intergenerational care into the mainstream.
Why do we lag so far behind other countries when it comes to doing this sort of thing?
The UK is one of the most age- segregated countries in the world.
Most of our activities only cater for one age group.
Like a care home or a nursery. And very rarely do they mix.
And there are all sorts of impacts as a result of that.
Loneliness and isolation for older people,
but also children don't benefit from the learning and experience that
older people can provide.
So, how do you plan to change this?
We're hoping that within the next five years,
there will be some 500 care home-nurseries on the same sites.
500? That sounds quite ambitious.
We have a lot of interest already from several hundred care schemes and housing schemes
where they have the space.
The question is, is the space suitable for a nursery?
Does it have the right access for nursery?
Is it in the right location for a nursery
where families are living close by?
And do you think projects like this one here could make people
feel differently about going into care homes?
Care homes can quite often be isolated institutions
and by opening them up
to not just children but also the families of the children,
relatives of the older people, the staff,
it can really help bring care homes alive.
The key thing here is that this is an everyday activity.
It's happening every day of the week
and older people are getting involved
in helping those children learn and develop and grow
and experience the joys of life.
Food all eaten, it's time for the afternoon story, and today, well,
they have a guest reader - me!
Hello, my name's Bill and I'm a bad beekeeper - a really bad beekeeper.
I've done bad things with bees, terrible things,
things you wouldn't understand
unless you were a beekeeper yourself.
I still shudder at the thought of one or two of them.
And with that, it's nap time.
Blimey, I didn't think I was that boring!
Why, I hear you ask?
It's the end of a long but very fulfilling day and soon,
it'll begin all over again.
Who knows? In years to come,
this might be a much more everyday occurrence.
For the moment, it's a chance for me to find out what mum and dad think.
It's good for them to actually understand all different types
of people out there and spend time and be gentle with older people
as well as being around their friends.
So, what does your daughter say about coming here
-and being with the residents?
-Absolutely loves it.
So, we drive in together and every time,
she'll be telling me stories about what she's planning to do and when
we're driving back home, she's telling me, oh,
I was with residents and this is what we were doing.
What do you think they get out of it, the children?
Patrick, he loves the residents.
He comes home and tells me about his grannies,
so he's extended his family by 20 plus.
Back inside, it's time for me to say my goodbyes to Margie and Fay,
but first, why not get some top tips
on how to overcome an age gap of more than 80 years?
So, ladies, we've seen you having a lovely time
with the children earlier.
What's your advice? What's the best way to get on with little children,
-do you think?
I think it's like treating them like you would any human being,
It's amazing how much and what they do pick out.
Don't talk down to them.
If there's one single thing that you both take away from this experience
that you've had, what would you say it was?
I think it's the warmth and the acceptance of the children
of us oldies.
-Does it make you feel younger?
-In a way, yes.
I want to sing with them.
-Which we do, don't we?
-Which we do.
Have you got a favourite song?
-I'm not going to sing it now.
-Oh, why not?
The Wheels On The Bus?
Could be, yes.
THEY SING: # The bell on the bus
# Goes dinga-linga-ling all day long. #
This could all be seen as a bit of a game changer for care homes,
which, up to now, are all too often seen as the last stop
on the journey of life.
What's happening here is giving the children a valuable experience
and giving the older people a whole new purpose.
Time now to give you the answer to our What Was The Year That Was archive quiz.
Fiona, the year was...
The year was, oh, 1981,
the year that Bucks Fizz won the Eurovision Song contest.
Good. Let's hope you can make your mind up to join us again tomorrow.
# Every time that I come near her
# I just lose my nerve
# As I've done from the start
# Every little thing she does is magic
# Everything she do just turns me on
# Even though my life before was tragic
# Now I know my love for her goes on... #