OLD PEOPLE’S HOME FOR 4-YEAR-OLDS, C4, 9pm

DEMENTIA is a terrifying prospect, and with longer life expectancy more of us may need to face it.

We know there’s no cure. All we can do is try to eat healthily, stay active and do a daily crossword in the hope of fending it off. But there might be another defence against it: children. There is emerging evidence that the noisy, energetic company of young kids can help boost an elderly person’s mental health and general wellbeing.

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To test the theory, this programme brings a bunch of nippers into an old folks’ home. Over two episodes we watch how the very old and the very young get along together as a children’s nursery is set up in a retirement home. The elderly get involved in the playful children’s activities and then take tests to measure their subsequent mood, mobility and memory skills.

It seems very heart-warming and also utterly practical: childcare and elderly care could perhaps one day run in harmony.

IS IT SAFE TO BE GAY IN THE UK?, BBC2, 11.15pm

WELL, of course it is, you might protest! Britain is a modern, civilised country! It’s committed to human rights and equality and has a zillion laws on the books which outlaw discrimination … But reality tells us that everyday life often conflicts with what the law says on paper. In this programme we learn that hate crime against gay people is horribly on the rise, with incidents occurring daily across Britain. Last summer, the number of recorded incidents rose by 147 per cent.

I’d rather this programme asked why this is so, rather than just seeking to confirm that hate is increasing. There are powerful interviews from gay people who’ve experienced hate crimes – but there are still far more questions to be asked here. Maybe this film will kick off an honest debate about why this is happening in a country that calls itself tolerant.