The bond between grandparents and grandchildren is usually very special. If your extended family has lived near each other when younger generations arrived, you may have enjoyed many occasions when those generations were able to gather together.
Critical Link Between Generations
As that older generation of grandparents age, it’s also an opportunity to also help your children learn how to help others and how to understand the circle of life. If you’re the adult child who’s watching your parent change as they age, their well-being is probably always on your mind.
Depending on the age of your children, the following ideas might be helpful:
- For young children, maintain family occasions with your parents, so that your children can be with their grandparents. This not only is important for the emotional well-being of the elderly person, but it’s also important for the children, even if they see the grandparent growing more ill or frail.
- Encourage young children to draw a picture that can be displayed in the grandparent’s room. Prepare a short song or poem to share. Or prepare a treat to take on the next visit, perhaps bringing their favorite snack or dessert.
- If the grandparent is still able to enjoy one-on-one time with the grandchildren, encourage them to spend time together. Research from the University of Oxford shows that children who have grandparents’ involvement have fewer behavior and emotional problems.
- Older teens and young adults also benefit from time with grandparents. A study in The Gerontologist reported a lower risk of depression in young adults who had spent time with their grandparents.
Being part of the aging process of our parents and grandparents also provides a gradual acceptance of the final outcome we all face at life’s end. Being together as a family allows time to share stories and create memories, even as we prepare for worsening health in the elderly family member.
At BeeHive Homes, we understand that aging brings about changes, particularly when the senior adult can no longer safely live at home. While an assisted living home allows your elderly family member more care from our trained staff, we also want our small group care facility to feel like a real home. We encourage families to visit, to spend time outdoors at our BeeHive Home locations, or to plan a short outing to a restaurant or favorite place, if the senior is up to the activity. As always, we ask that if anyone is not feeling well, you postpone a visit. We may also ask for masks to be worn or other precautions taken to safeguard the residents’ health based on current guidance.
The value of every person is vital, both to our caregivers and in your family dynamic. We hope you’ll continue to create moments and share memories all along the aging process.