Across the country, multigenerational living situations — whether spurred by the coronavirus pandemic or already in place — are making grandparents starring figures in family life. They’re caring for grandchildren as parents work from home, helping with remote education, doing chores like cooking and yard work, and reading bedtime stories. The result is often a deeper relationship with members of the household.
For older adults who are separated from friends and family by distance, video chatting provides a convenient way to stay connected any time, any place. Video calling has several benefits over traditional phone calls. Seniors can see the faces of grandkids and other family members instead of just hearing their voices, making communication more personal and interactive. Video chatting also allows family members to check in on their senior loved ones and see how they are doing, which is especially important if they cannot visit often.
When it comes to helping your grandchildren get ahead financially, there’s a lot more to consider than a check in their birthday card.
3 Tips for Helping Seniors Stay Connected This Fourth Of July: Because No One Should Be Limited By Technology
It’s Fourth of July weekend, and people across the country are planning virtual fun for the holiday. Many families this year are choosing to avoid in-person socializing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, especially those who are older and more vulnerable. Despite the distance, family members can still log in to apps like Caribu and connect with relatives through books and activities in a video-call.
In order to stay healthy and active as a grandparent, your joints, muscles, and immune system need to be prepped, primed, and protected. This is especially true at the moment, as many grandparents are helping babysit little ones while their own children are busy working remotely.
One of the best things, to my way of thinking, about becoming a senior citizen is being a grandparent. We get to see Anthony several times a week in the summer, and pre-pandemic, we would take him on vacations, and to local museums, the aquarium, the bounce house and playgrounds. Our enjoyment was always enhanced by watching him having so much fun.
There are plenty of benefits to being closer. Research suggests that kids whose grandparents play a significant role in their lives may become more resilient and less prone to depression as adults. Grandparents, in turn, have the chance to be there for milestone moments and to support adult children with babysitting and child care.
Of all the hardships imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, few are as poignant as the reshaping of relationships between children and the grandparents who love them. Across America, where more than 70 million people are grandparents, efforts to prevent infection in older people, who are most at risk of serious COVID-19 illness, have meant self-imposed exile for many. At the opposite extreme, some grandparents have taken over daily child care duties to help adult children with no choice but to work.
Grandparents have had enough. They want to see their grandchildren. A life in seemingly endless lockdown and isolation from grandchildren is not how grandparents want to spend their golden years. But adult children don’t want to risk exposing an older, more vulnerable generation to the new coronavirus during a family visit. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that eight out of 10 deaths from COVID-19 are in people aged 65 and older.
This is grandparenting amid the COVID-19 crisis. For my wife and me, becoming grandparents meant a hurried drive across middle America — 1,500 miles in two days. It meant being barred from a hospital visit, then maintaining two weeks of self-isolation in a rented house before we’d eventually be allowed to hold our grandchild or hug his parents.