The moment the babies, cradled in their mothers' arms, entered the room, a round of cheerful "oohs" and "aahs" gushed from the elderly whose faces until then had been expressionless.

Some smiled and some opened their eyes wide as they looked at the babies. "Adorable!" one said, while others eagerly extended their hands in a plea to hold one of the infants.

A 75-year-old woman with dementia who often picks quarrels with others gazed affectionately at a baby, while a 93-year-old man who had been drowsy due to medicine to keep him from acting violently made strenuous efforts to talk to another baby.