Japan. Babies at the service of seniors in a retirement home.
A nursing home in Japan is “hiring” babies for essential work: keeping elderly residents company and making them smile. Salary? Diapers and powdered milk.
New recruits to the facility in Kitakyushu (southwest) must be under four years old and their parents or guardians must sign a contract stipulating that babies and young children can come to work “whenever they just want to. “.
They are allowed to take a break “when they are hungry, sleepy or according to their mood”, specifies the contract. More than 30 babies have signed up so far, tasked with lifting the spirits of more than 100 residents, mostly in their 80s, said Kimie Gondo, who runs the nursing home.
“Just seeing babies makes our residents smile,” she told AFP, adding that “there is no roster or anything.” A job advertisement pinned to the wall of the establishment reads in large letters “We are hiring!” and informs applicants that they will be compensated for their diaper and powdered milk services.
To go for a walk
The main — and perhaps the only — responsibility of the successful candidates will be to “walk around” the retirement home in the company of their parents or guardians, we can still read. “Babies stay with their mother all the time. It’s like taking them for a walk in a park,” explained Ms. Gondo.
The locals seem delighted with the young recruits and greet them, strike up conversations or give them hugs. “They are cute. It reminds me of when I was a parent,” a resident of the nursing home told a local television station.
So far, the project has produced excellent results, according to Ms. Gondo. “Some of the children get along so well with our residents that they are now like real grandparents and grandchildren.”
Nursing home in Japan ‘hires’ babies to keep elderly residents company and make them smile
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