Old People’s Home For Teenagers Will Shatter Your Heart Into a Thousand Pieces

Old People’s Home For Teenagers Will Shatter Your Heart Into a Thousand Pieces

Can you make it through the first 15 minutes of Up without crying? How about the ending of Toy Story 3? Or the funeral scene in My Girl? All of them leave me in a puddle of tears but they’ve got nothing on Old People’s Home For Teenagers.

After two seasons of following four-year-olds and seeing their impact on the lives of older Australians struggling with loneliness, the ABC has now turned to teenagers. If you’ve watched the previous seasons you know this show is a real tear-jerker. But I have taken one for the team and watched the first two episodes of Old People’s Home For Teenagers to warn you of the dangers that lie ahead. And I warn you: these teenagers will tear out your heart, stomp all over it, and still leave you wanting to give each and every one of them a hug.

As the show points out, 75 per cent of teens have mental health challenges following COVID lockdowns, according to research from the Black Dog Institute.

“I think if you want joy in your life, you picked the wrong generation,” 15-year-old Dora declares. At the other end of the spectrum, Philip, who is a spring chicken at just 75, says “older people become invisible”. So why not bring them all together?

Watching the show, you realise starting a new friendship is never easy, no matter how old you are. It’s always awkward, but you’ve got to give it a crack.

“I’m not a huge fan of touching,” 15-year-old Fred says straight up. I hear ya, Fred. I’m not a big hugger either. But do you know what? By the second episode, Fred is a hugger. All it took was for someone to say he had done a good job.

Miles, a 15-year-old gamer, is an absolute gentleman — he always thanks the bus driver, and that’s the sign of a good soul if you ask me. But he’s nervous about introducing himself to the group; he just wants to find someone he can share his passion for video games with. The first person older person he introduces himself to is Jim, 76, who just happens to be a retired computer engineer. The look on Miles’ face is everything.

Louis is only 14 but has already experienced tragedy that makes it difficult for him to open up to people. He strikes up a beautiful friendship with retired sailor Ken, 92, who in sharing his own trauma helps Louis see the light. Just look at these two:

Louis and Ken - Old People's Home For Teenagers
How good does Ken look for 92?! (Image: ABC TV, Old People’s Home For Teenagers)

Now, if you’ve made it this far, brace for impact: One of the participants doesn’t make it past episode two. It’s a scene that had me screaming “NOOOOO!” at my screen and cost me an entire box of tissues.

Old People’s Home For Teenagers starts on Tuesday, August 30 at 8.30pm on ABC TV and iview. You can also stream Old People’s Home for 4-Year-Olds on iview now.

If you’re experiencing loneliness and mental health challenges, the Black Dog Institute has resources and support services that can help.


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