Prepare Your Children: Grandparents May Need Help

Do you have favorite memories of your grandparents from your childhood?  I can remember my visits with my grandparents and the activities they enjoyed sharing with us.  As grandparents grow older, their younger family members need to be ready to find or offer assistance in order to make their lives more enjoyable.  Check out the following guest post on how to prepare young children for the time in life when their grandparents need assisted living.

Preparing young children for when grandparents need assisted living

One of the things that makes many of our childhoods memorable is the time that we spent with our grandparents—going places with them, watching their favorite TV programs, helping out with the house and yard work… I have my own memories of my late maternal grandfather: He would take me to the dump, to restaurants and to various friends of his. He also taught me how to play several card games.

But time marches on and people grow older and often weaker. When that time comes, grandparents must often be moved into a nursing home or an assisted living facility. It’s also noteworthy to mention that in-home care is also a great option if your loved one would prefer to remain in the comfort of their own home. If you reside in Sydney then consider the services of Care for family to assist your loved one with day-to-day duties and provide daily care. That being said, this change can be hard for the child, who can no longer do the things he or she once did with his grandparents. This article will outline some of the ways in which parents can prepare their children for this eventuality.

1) Letting them know as early as possible

As soon as it starts to become apparent that your father or mother will need to be moved from his house into a care facility, you should let your child know about it. However painful something may be, it is often less of a shock if we know about it well in advance than if the bad news is suddenly broken to us.

2) Explaining the situation to them

Tell your children what the situation is in a way that suits their current level of understanding. Let them know that their grandparents are getting weaker and cannot do many of the things that they used to be able to do. Make it clear to them that their grandparents still love them and would gladly engage in their old activities with them—if they only could.

3) Visiting them

Having their grandparents in an assisted living facility offering long term care for Alzheimer’s, or whatever it is they need support for, does not have to mean the end of the life the children once knew. On the contrary, children can continue to visit their grandparents in their new homes. They can talk to them about how things are going, watch TV and play games with them. If you are lucky you may find an assisted living home that is located in such a place that the child can continue to visit his grandparents on the way home from school!

4) Encouraging the children to help out

Depending on their age your children might even be able to help make their grandparents final years on earth as easy and pleasant as possible. On their visits they can bring them their meals, buy them presents and keep them up to date on developments involving the family and friends. Just having their grandchildren there is often enough to make them feel happy.

Children and adolescents can also volunteer at the places where their grandparents live. This in itself can be a rewarding experience for them. They can learn new things about the world around them, get to know new people and even gain the knowledge and experience that will prove useful later when they go looking for a job.

Helping out need not be confined to the facility in which children’s grandparents live. They can also help out at home and even take care of the house that was once that of their elders, preparing for the day when it may one day belong to their parents and eventually to themselves!

It is always important to help children understand the difficulty of any situation the family finds itself. The change can be hard for the child’s parents too, and in another way: for they remember when their parents were younger and healthier, and it is often difficult for people to see them grow older. For that reason it can be great to know that the children are both able and willing to help out in hard times such as these.

Author Bio
Mark Carol is a health writer for Assisted Living Today blog, a leading source of information on a range of topics related to elderly care and assisted living.

1 thought on “Prepare Your Children: Grandparents May Need Help”

  1. It’s sad but it’s a fact of life. How easy it would be to just keep the grandparents in our home, but it is much comfortable for them to live in an assisted facility where they have medical assistance, can socialize with peers and enjoy their remaining years. At home, they would be left to their own devices during working hours unless we find a full time caregiver for them.

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