Many parents look forward to the day their adult children will have children of their own. That’s because becoming a grandparent is a way to touch the future and an opportunity to bring all the generations in a family closer together.
Studies by organizations like the Society for Research in Child Development show grandparents have the potential to play key roles in the lives of their grandchildren and that intergenerational relationships offer multiple benefits to both young and old.
For kids, grandparents usually have more free time than their parents to play and read and give a child their undivided attention. They can act as role models and be a source of strength and support when the child experiences a crisis. A British study found children with a high level of grandparent involvement had fewer emotional and behavioral problems.
For older grandchildren, the time spent with the senior generation can deepen their understanding of older adults and their appreciation for the wisdom that comes with age. Plus, researchers at the American Sociological Association found close grandparent – adult grandchild relationships helped older people remain functionally independent and less prone to depression.
For seniors, spending time with grandchildren is a chance to enjoy fun family activities and conversations, see the world through a child’s eyes and pass along family traditions and stories. It adds richness to a senior’s life to be able to share a hobby or teach a special skill like fishing, knitting or cooking an ethnic dish and to learn more about the activities and achievements of young family members.
Years ago, three generations living under one roof was commonplace. Children were surrounded by a support network of extended family including grandparents, aunts and uncles. Keeping the generations connected today can be more challenging as many modern seniors live alone, in senior communities or far away from family.
When families can’t see each other, technology such as cell phones, texting and computers can help grandparents and grandchildren stay in touch. Phone conversations, emails, photos and videos enable senior family members to share in the milestones of their grandchildren as these young lives unfold.
Holidays like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are popular times for families to make a point of coming together. But many are unaware of a newer annual celebration known as Grandparents Day. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter designated the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day in the United States. It’s a time to honor grandparents and encourage multigenerational bonding. This year it was observed on September 8th.
Still, families don’t have to wait for a special occasion. Grandparents and grandchildren can bolster their relationship anytime and build memories that last forever.
Liberty Lutheran offers a variety of services to seniors through its home-health care agency.Liberty provides personal care and support for the growing number of older adults who wish to remain living in their own home through Liberty at Home. Liberty at Home is a Medicare certified home care agency that provides many service options for personal care and support.
Liberty also provides comprehensive, compassionate care to seniors at its four senior communities. Artman is located in Ambler, Montgomery County. Artman staff members are leaders in compassionate care. Artman provides Personal Care, Skilled Nursing, Rehabilitation and Hospice services. Paul’s Run Retirement Community is a dynamic continuing care retirement community (CCRC), offering Independent Living, Personal Care, Skilled Nursing, Rehabilitation and Hospice services. Located in Northeast Philadelphia, The newest addition to Liberty’s family of services, The Village at Penn State (VPS), a University-Based retirement community in State College, Pa., offers a culturally active and intellectually stimulating lifestyle for seniors. Residents are offered a wide array of accommodations, luxurious amenities and comprehensive services to support their unique needs and well-being. Mary J. Drexel is located in Bala Cynwyd, Montgomery County. The new Mary J. Drexel Home will be transformed into a state-of-the-art Assisted Living and feature several households of small interior neighborhoods.