A CARE home project has proved to be a mood boost for the young and old.

The intergenerational project ‘Maldon Up’ sees year six children from All Saints’ Primary visit Longfield Care Home residents regularly to play games and chat.

Anglia Ruskin researchers claim it has helped foster a sense of community and provides an emotional boost for old and young alike.

Research assistant Rebecca Chandler said: “The experiences of the children, older adults and the care home staff have been overwhelmingly positive.

“There were initial concerns about how children might interact with some of the adults with dementia, but these concerns were quickly negotiated and relieved.

“The journey and progress has been remarkable. The project provides children with an understanding of ageing, dementia and the lives of others, but they have also benefited from drawing upon the life experience of the residents and found that stimulates their own learning.

“The atmosphere in the care home has been enlivened and uplifted, and this spills over into the care home staff’s work environment, who described the infectiousness with which the older adults’ joy had affects them and their approach to work.”

Many care home residents have been described as “uniquely transformed” by their time with the children.

Researchers also found that speaking to the children and taking part in activities can trigger long-term memories.