Children wanted to work with the elderly

A nursing home in Japan is “hiring” children to do an essential job: keeping the elderly residents company and making them smile. Salary? Diapers and powdered milk.

New recruits at the Kitakyushu (southwest) facility must be less than four years old and their parents or guardians must sign a contract stating that infants and young children can come to work “only when they want to.”

They are allowed to take a rest “when they are hungry, sleepy, or according to their mood,” the contract states.

Kimi Jundo, who runs the nursing home, said more than 30 children have registered so far, tasked with lifting the spirits of more than 100 people, most of them in their 80s.

“Just seeing the children makes our residents smile,” she told AFP. “There is no menu or anything.”

A job ad posted on the organization’s wall says in large letters “We’re hiring!” Applicants are informed that they will be compensated for the services of diapers and powdered milk.

The main – and perhaps the only – responsibility of successful candidates will be to “walk around” their retirement home in the company of their parents or guardians, and we can still read.

“Children stay with their mother all the time. It is like taking them for a walk in the park,” Ms. Jundo explained.

The locals seem happy with the young recruits and greet them, start conversations or give them a hug.

“They are nice. It reminds me of when I was a parent,” a nursing home resident told a local TV station.

So far, the project has had excellent results, according to Ms. Gondo. “Some children get along so well with our residents that they are now like real grandparents and grandchildren.”

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