Daniel Holmes, 4, and Stuart Gulliver, 91, have become fast friends. The young boy met Gulliver, who is in the early stages of dementia, at the Acorn House Care Home, in Nottingham, UK. Holmes was taken to the home by his mother, who wanted him to be comfortable around elderly people.
Gulliver, a resident at the care home, says Holmes has given him a “new lease of life.” The friends meet each week to play games and go on day trips. “They have grown up together. I know it sounds silly because Stuart is older but they have grown to love each other,” said Natalie Holmes. "It's basically including Stuart in our day to day life. He has a board of all his friends and family and Stuart is on there."
According to the Alzheimer's Association,"Dementia is not a specific disease. It's an overall term that describes a group of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person's ability to perform everyday activities. Alzheimer's disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of cases. Vascular dementia, which occurs after a stroke, is the second most common dementia type."
This will melt your heart.— BBC East Midlands (@bbcemt) July 24, 2018
Four-year-old Daniel and 91-year-old Stuart, who has dementia, have struck up an unlikely friendship 😀♥️ pic.twitter.com/qaJupwdHpL
The pair first met when Holmes was 18-months-old. Before that, Gulliver had grown accustomed to being alone most of the day, but according to the staff at Acorn House, the young boy’s visits have brought him “out of his shell” and have led to a ‘heart-warming’ transformation.
According to Gulliver, “I've always liked babies but never had one myself…He's a little devil at times but he's also very caring. At last, we have got something to smile about.”
Acorn House Care Home, a residential care property that specializes in dementia care, focuses on individualized programs for its residents. “We support people with dementia to live the fullest lives they can, in a safe and secure setting, and provide peace of mind for their families. Our staff is trained in caring for people with dementia, ensuring a warm and positive community, which combined with our specially designed, purpose-built buildings, make a real difference in the quality of life,” the home’s website says.