Added Joy of Grandchildren? Study Shows Grand Kids Keep You Young

By: Jody Smith

Do you enjoy time spent with your grandchildren? According to research from Concordia University and Wilfrid Laurier University, visiting with your grandchildren may keep you young longer as well. This was reported in an article on Medicare.org.

As a grandparent, you have a great deal to offer your grandkids. If you are retired, or even semi-retired, you very likely have more time for them than their parents can manage. You have years of experience, family traditions and stories about them and their parents that no one else can give them. And all of this is wrapped up in the special love a grandparent has for his or her grandkids.

Seniors often have less responsibilities and time constraints to juggle and are now free to make time with their families. They can bring their special touch to family celebrations, vacations and holidays. At a time when many seniors may feel that they have been sidelined from life, grandparents have an opportunity to be the center of the wheel of life in their grandchildren's sense of family, history and continuity. Not bad rewards for spending afternoons drinking pretend tea and driving toy cars across the carpet with the little ones you love most.

This is of course much easier to do if your children and grandchildren live in your area, or even within a couple of hours' drive. But what if your family lives in another state, or even another country?

If you travel to them, or if they come to you, the logistics will be different from those in the same community, but still workable with a little imagination and planning. If you are the one traveling to visit your family, you may be staying in the guest room, or you might rent a cottage or hotel room nearby. Here, simply following the basic rules of being a good guest will be all you need to keep in mind. That, and Rule Number One for grandparents -- Bring gifts!

If on the other hand you will be playing host to your grandchildren, with or without their parents, there are a few things to take care of ahead of time. Take the age of your grandchildren into consideration. Toddlers will require special vetting of the terrain.

That is to say, everything that can be put up high, should be put up high. Make sure cupboards and drawers within a few feet of the floor have no contents that might be hazardous. This of course includes pills, cleaning supplies, sharp objects, and small parts that could be swallowed. Safety covers for plugs and outlets, and childproof locks and latches can make everyone's life easier not to mention safer.

Not having to run interference or holler "No!" at every turn will definitely create a more pleasant environment for your family memory-building. It will also increase the chance of everyone wanting to do it again next time.

Jody Smith is a freelance writer for EmpowHER.com.

Sources:

Bonding with grandchildren can help seniors age well and remain positive. Medicare.org. Retrieved April 29, 2012

http://www.medicare.org/medicare-news/health-and-wellness/384-bonding-with-grandchildren-can-help-seniors-age-well-and-remain-positive-.html

Flamborough Seniors: Grandchild-proof your home. Flamboroughreview.com. Retrieved April 29, 2012.

http://www.flamboroughreview.com/opinion/flamborough-seniors-grandchild-proof-your-home

Related Links:

Personal Care for Seniors: Great-Grandma Mabel's Experience at Home

http://www.empowher.com/caregiving/content/personal-care-seniors-great-grandma-mabels-experience-home

Care Giving for Elderly Parents or Grandparents

http://www.empowher.com/mental-health/content/care-giving-elderly-parents-or-grandparents

Making Family Travel (Almost) Painless

http://www.empowher.com/parenting/content/making-family-travel-almost-painless

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