A 6-month-old baby wears a giant panda costume at a zoo in Tokyo. The nursing home in Kitakyushu has signed up more than 30 babies so far. Photo Credit: ReutersSociety Japan
Babies “Paid” in Diapers and Milk… to Cheer Up Elders!
A nursing home located in Kitakyushu, Japan, is “hiring” babies and toddlers to boost its elderly residents’ morale in exchange for diapers and milk formula, a social experiment proven to produce excellent results.
“The mere sight of babies makes our residents smile,” says Kimie Gondo, head of the nursing home. “Some of the children get along with our residents so well, they’re now like real grandparents and grandchildren.”
According to the contract, the little ones can show up whenever they feel like it and can take breaks any time they are hungry, sleepy, or even moody. So far, more than 30 children under the age of four have signed up to lift the spirits of around 100 octogenarian residents who gladly greet them, strike up conversations, and offer them hugs. “The babies stay with their mothers all the time. It’s just like they’re being taken for a walk in a park,” and are compensated with diapers and powdered milk in exchange for their services.