The increasing life expectancy of senior citizens makes it possible for grandchildren and grandparents or even great-grandparents to exchange
While moremillennials are becoming primary caregivers, the increasing role of adult grandchildren in caring for elderly relatives is often overlooked.
But the relationship between a grandparent and grandchild is extremely strong and can have a huge impact on the overall care and quality of life for seniors.
At first glance, it may seem there is no place for babies and infants in elder care. While children this young are unable to offer any direct caregiving support, there is still a role very young children can play.
Theelderly are at high risk for social isolation. Bringing a young child along when you care for mom and dad can instill joy in your parents lives and help improve their social and emotional health.
Seniors who receive regular social interaction including engagement with young children show signs of better physical health, including healthier blood pressure, a decreased risk of disease, and delayed cognitive decline.
While their grandchildren’s brains are forming day by day and making new connections, it is important that the brains of the older generation do not feel neglected. Studies tend to show that this relationship keeps older people fit, whether we are talking about physical or mental fitness. It may not sound as relaxing and rejuvenating as a spa trip, but we assure you that spending time with your grandchildren has rejuvenating effects.
Seniors have a whole lifetime of knowledge and wisdom to impart to their grandkids, but kids are pretty smart too! Now that many children, all the way up through those in college, have been learning online for the past year, there’s no better time for seniors and grandkids to learn from each other.
Older adults can easily get set in their ways if they don’t try to do new things. Since grandkids are always into the latest trends and gadgets, you can bet your loved one will learn something new. From trying out a new type of food to listening to a different type of music, the grandkids can shake up your loved one’s routine so he or she is never accused of being stodgy.
Grandparents play a unique role in their grandchildren’s lives because they’re often free to bypass the stresses of child-rearing and just enjoy spending time together. This freedom allows your loved one to express love unconditionally to the grandkids, and he or she can avoid having to enforce most of the discipline. Being able to shower the grandchildren with hugs and kisses whenever he or she wants gives your loved one a way to express positive emotions. Seniors should regularly socialize with family and friends to enhance their emotional health
Your loved one likely has learned many things through the years to share with the grandchildren. For instance, many seniors enjoy teaching their grandkids how to sew or cook. When your loved one teaches the grandchildren something new, he or she is also reinforcing the ability to perform these tasks. Rolling out a pie crust or showing the grandchildren how to sew on a button strengthens motor skills in older adults
When seniors know their presence helps their grandkids do better in school and avoid developing depression, they may gain a new sense of purpose. Since seniors need to know they’re important to other people, the realization they can still make a big impact on the family is a great way to maintain their emotional health.
Some intergenerational activities
One of the things that many elderly individuals enjoy is getting to know and spend time with their grandkids. Whether it’s spending time together for a special occasion, holiday or when there is free time, the memories made during these times are valuable.
During the summer, seniors and their grandchildren often have more opportunities to spend time with one another because school is out and there are many more activities happening. This free time means kids can engage in numerous fun activities they might not otherwise get to participate in or do as often when school is in session.
First of all, contact with grandchildren has very concrete physiological effects. One of the first is to keep you fit: playing with grandchildren often means running after them, teaching them to swim, carrying them and twirling them around… To this can be added walks, gardening or DIY: all activities that exercise your muscles and joints as much as theirs.
A healthy mind in a healthy body. But the former is not left out, because intellectual activity is also stimulated. Playing board games with them, reading stories together, reactivating memories from the past, answering their constant questions… All of this is full of virtues: we observe a preservation of intellectual faculties and an improvement in cognitive functions in elderly people who regularly look after their grandchildren
For little ones, maybe you can help them learn the alphabet or colors and for older kids, introduce flash cards and make it math or a spelling bee.
For those with a hobby or other area of expertise, short lessons in sewing, cooking, or drawing can introduce grandkids to a new pastime and inspire them to learn more. In return, ask them to teach you about using Facebook or another challenge they have already mastered. Making it a two-way process will give them a feeling of accomplishment by both giving and receiving
Movies are a classic activity that almost everyone enjoys. Whether you want to go out to the theater to check out a new film or stay in to watch an old favorite, movies are an easy activity that seniors and their grandkids are sure to have fun with.
Video games might be seen primarily as an activity that adolescents participate in and enjoy, but it is something that can be for people of nearly all ages — including elderly individuals. There are competitive multiplayer games that both seniors and their grandchildren can play, such as car racing or sports. Additionally, video games can provide some benefits to seniors. The hand-eye coordination required of many video games can help maintain and improve a person’s motor skills. Just be sure not to spend too much time playing video games to prevent your eyes from getting strained and excessive body inactivity.
No matter what a person’s creativity level is, seniors and children can benefit from doing arts and crafts. The sense of creation can provide elderly individuals with satisfaction while providing mind stimulation and improving cognitive skills. Many children enjoy the creative outlet, and there are a seemingly endless variety of choices to pick from. Arts and crafts can involve making things completely from scratch with no instruction, or arts and crafts can be done with guidance from an activity kit or online video. It is best for the art activity chosen to be safe for seniors and children and within their abilities. Choosing an activity that requires supplies you already have may be easiest, but seniors and grandchildren can also go shopping for art supplies together.
Technology provides a bond
Seniors may not enjoy the stereotype of struggling with technology, but undeniably many older people do have difficulty mastering their devices.
It may seem out of reach to some seniors, but using technology is the single best way to stay connected to today’s youth. Smart phones, tablets, iPads and computers are the magic carpet that help shrink distances and bring people together
A 2016-17 Deloitte survey of Australian consumers found 78% of seniors aged 65-75 owned a smartphone, as well as 82% of those aged 55-64.
A survey of 750 older Australians (mostly over 70) showed high levels of digital device ownership, but only “moderate” levels of confidence in using them.
Many seniors who struggled with digital devices felt they lacked support. In particular, they said their own families often displayed a “can’t be bothered explaining” attitude.
However the survey indicates that grandchildren were generally more eager to give advice, but only 7% of older people went to them first. Seniors saw grandchildren as more willing to help, and sometimes willing to trade technology advice for other kinds of help such as swimming lessons.
But grandchildren can solve the issue of bridging it and bringing the family closer. By the way, it is advantageous not just for elders but for youngsters also. Coaching someone else improves skills of a teacher, so grandchild becomes more experienced and knowledgeable.
It is their chance to build confidence as they teach people who are more way-wise but they know something that older people don’t know; A “teacher” and a “pupil” will spend more time together than usual, so their relationship may become closer.
When grandparents get acquainted with new technologies, this knowledge may help them to stay in touch with their grandparents using means of communication that are more convenient to youngsters. As a result, generations can communicate via email, texting or video conferencing.
Jennifer Satery, “Why should older adults spend time with their grandchildren”, Home Care Assistance, 24 September 2021. https://www.homecareassistancearlingtontx.com/why-seniors-should-interact-with-grandkids-often/
Seniors Bluebook, « The impact grandchildren can have in senior care », Seniors Bluebook, 6 October 2021. https://seniorsbluebook.com/articles/the-impact-grandchildren-can-have-in-senior-care
Assisting Hands HomeCare, « 5 activities for seniors and their grandchildren », Elderly Homecare. https://www.elderly-homecare.com/5-activities-for-seniors-and-their-grandchildren/
John Ganton’s Countryside, « How seniors can connect and be influential with their grandchildren », John Ganton’s Countryside, 9 March 2021. https://blog.gantons.com/how-seniors-can-connect-and-be-influential-with-their-grandchildren
Le Mag du Senior, « Voir ses petits-enfants régulièrement rajeunit-il? », Le Mag du Senior Ouest France. https://lemagdusenior.ouest-france.fr/dossier-450-petits-enfants-regulierement-rajeunit.html
Sophie La Girafe, « Jeunes enfants et personnes âgées, l’importance des liens intergénérationnels », Sophie La Girafe, Février 2021. https://www.sophielagirafe.fr/fr/blog/les-conseils-de-sophie-la-girafe/jeunes-enfants-et-personnes-agees-la%EF%BF%BD%EF%BF%BD-importance-des-liens-intergenerationnels-147.html