Children help dementia patients in care home as part of new isolation study

Longfield Care Home Credit: ITV News Anglia

School children from Maldon in Essex have been spending time with dementia patients in care homes as part of a new project to tackle isolation and loneliness.

Children from All Saints Primary school have built friendships with the residents after spending months talking to them.

"Not all of our residents have big families or grandchildren that come to visit them so having the children in gives them opportunity to be around more people and something to look forward to from week to week. It's surprising a lot them do remember it, you may think they won't remember it but they do and they talk about the children and what game they will bring in next."

– Gina Copsey, Manager, Longfield Care Home

It's part of a project called Maldon Up! - a social experiment aiming to tackle social stigma, isolation and loneliness And those involved have made their own film to raise awareness

"It makes me more confident speaking to other people and older people and I'm autistic and I find it difficult to talk to people I don't know."

– Leo Falcus, Pupil

"When I first came I met this lady named Phyllis and she was really nice but we had to help her with everything but on the last week she was helping other people so that was really nice to see. "

– Lily Woodyard, Pupil

Anglia Ruskin University will spend the next year evaluating whether there are proven medical benefits from this interaction.