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Eldercare is typically considered the responsibility of a spouse or adult child for many families across the United States. While more millennials are becoming primary caregivers, the increasing role of adult grandchildren in caring for elderly relatives is often overlooked.
But the relationship between a grandparent and grandchild is extremely strong and can have a huge impact on the overall care and quality of life for seniors.
Senior Home Care Tips for Grandchildren
Grandchildren of all ages from toddlers to teenagers can be an important part of a caregiver team. Here are a few suggestions for how grandchildren can assist with elder care at various ages and stages:
Babies, infants, toddlers, and preschoolers
At first glance, it may seem there is no place for babies and infants in elder care. While children these young are unable to offer any direct caregiving support, there is still a role very young children can play.
The elderly is at high risk for social isolation. Bringing a young child along when you care for mom and dad can instill joy in your parents lives and help improve their social and emotional health.
Seniors who receive regular social interaction including engagement with young children show signs of better physical health, including healthier blood pressure, a decreased risk of disease, and delayed cognitive decline.
Watching or supervising a young grandchild can be an excellent diversion for grandparents who need some limited supervision but are otherwise able-bodied and sound of mind. Ask mom and dad to take care of the baby or play with your preschooler while you manage some of your parents' needs in the background, such as cooking meals for the week, cleaning the home, sorting medications, or paying bills.
Grade-schoolers and pre-teens
Children at this age can perform minor eldercare tasks. Grade-schoolers may be trusted to bring water to grandma or grandpa or fetch the TV remote or a pair of eyeglasses.
Pre-teens can take on some more responsibility, but it should still be limited to simpler chores such as wheeling grandma or grandpa around, helping put on jackets, shoes, or sweaters, and assisting with phone calls or computer needs.
Give your children time to bond with grandma and grandpa with more fun activities. Encourage them to exchange stories, watch movies, read books, and work on puzzles or play board games together.
Teenagers and young adults
Older grandchildren can begin to take on more caregiving responsibilities. Younger teenagers can be excellent sitters for grandparents who need minor non-medical assistance and supervision for short periods.
Having something specific to do together, such as watching a movie, playing board games, or reading to each other, also helps grandparent-sitting go smoothly. Spending time together as grandchild and grandparent can be an excellent bonding experience and give parents a well-deserved break.
As teenagers grow into young adults, they can take grandma or grandpa on a walk, keep them company on errands, or go out for a drive together. Older and more responsible grandchildren can escort their grandparents to a doctor's appointment, help with medication reminders, and even assist with mobility, grooming, or toileting needs. Young adults especially those whose parents are deceased may also decide to hire professional in-home care support when needed for their grandparents.
Grandchildren Can Be an Asset in Senior Care
Grandchildren have the potential to be an asset, not a liability, in senior care. Their very presence can have a positive impact on your parents mental and physical health. When grandchildren become older, they can take on increased caregiving responsibilities and provide additional physical and emotional support.
Running is very accessibleit doesn't require any special equipment or a gym membershipwhich is why so many individuals decide to do it. Running can take a toll on the body, especially when the body is not used to the training or the training intensity changes too much in a short period of time. Injuries are more likely to occur when running without the proper warm-up or attire.Listed below are some common injuries that runners may face, as well as signs and symptoms to look out for.Plantar FasciitisThe plantar fascia is a band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the base of the toes. It supports the arch at the bottom of the foot. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the fascia tissue that links the heel to the base of the toes becomes inflamed. One of the main symptoms of plantar fasciitis is pain in the heel, especially after exercise or first thing in the morning.Achilles TendonitisThe achilles tendon is the band of tissue that connects the calf muscles at the back of the leg to the heel bone. Achilles tendonitis is an overuse injury to the achilles tendon. Symptoms can include a mild to severe ache or pain in the back of the leg or above the heel. Tenderness and stiffness in the morning, which gets better with activity, can also occur.IT (Iliotibial) Band SyndromeThe IT band is a thick band of tissue (ligament) that runs on the outside of the leg; it starts at the hip and extends to the outer side of the shinbone below the knee joint. IT band syndrome occurs when the band of tissue gets swollen and irritated from rubbing against the hip or knee bone. Symptoms can include hip or knee pain, redness, and warmth around the outside of the knee. The symptoms may start after exercise, and as they worsen, you will feel pain during exercise and during rest periods.Runners KneeRunners knee is a dull and aching pain that is felt behind the knee cap, especially where it meets the femur. Symptoms of runner's knee can include swelling, popping or grinding of the knee, and pain around or behind the knee.Ankle SprainAnkle sprains are one of the most common injuries that occur at all ages and at all activity levels. Ankle sprains occur when the ankle ligaments are stretched beyond their limits and tear. Sprains can range from a tiny tear to a complete tear of the ligament. Symptoms of ankle sprains can include swelling, pain, bruising, tenderness, and instability of the ankle.FracturesFractures are breaks or cracks in a bone. There are different kinds of fractures and different severities. Symptoms of fractures can include swelling, bruising, tenderness, or deformity. Fractures can occur in most bones; the most common area for fractures to occur in runners is in the foot or ankle.If you are experiencing any of the conditions or symptoms listed above, please call our office at 239 - 325 - 4090 to schedule an appointment for evaluation.
Often the hardest part of doing something new is getting started, and that's especially true about exercise. This article from AARP makes it easy to get started with the most important exercise to help you age healthy: squats. Five or ten squats are easy to do while you wait for the coffee to brew or the microwave to finish heating.Even when we're healthy we sometimes need a little extra help with the house or errands. Visit our website at www.rosehillathome.com to learn more about how Rose Hill Stay-at-Home Services can help you or a loved one stay in independent and at home.
For many families, the holidays are the only time they have to spend together, and COVID-19 has made that more challenging. Phone calls and emails are great ways to connect with loved ones from afar, but the distance can make it hard to notice changes in a persons appearance or surroundings that could indicate they need help. During socially-distanced, masked visits or on video chat, families should pay attention to: The Condition of the HomeIs it messier or more cluttered than usual?Is there spoiled food in the refrigerator or cupboards?Are bills not being paid on time?Are household goods being put away in the wrong places?The Persons ConditionDo they have unexplained weight loss?Are they wearing clothes that are dirty or inappropriate for the weather?Are they having trouble with toileting or basic hygiene such as showering or brushing their teeth?Have they fallen recently?Do they appear to be off-balance?Are they having difficulty sleeping?The Persons BehaviorsAre they missing scheduled medical visits or telehealth appointments?Are they forgetting to refill prescriptions or take medications as prescribed?Do they seem confused when you talk to them about topics theyd normally understand?Are they exhibiting any personality changes or mood swings?These sorts of deficits could be a sign that they need extra help. At ComForCare Home Care, we understand the challenges that can arise with aging. Home care can help older adults continue to live independently in their own home and do all the things they love. Contact us today to learn more about how we help people live their best lives possible. Please call us with any questions, 720-575-5576.
Visiting Angels is committed to providing the very best in Alzheimer's care, personal care, medication reminders, meal preparation, housekeeping, laundry, errands, companionship, respite care and help needed to remain at home safely. Our clients are able to interview their caregivers who have passed both state and federal background checks, drug screens and reference checks. Caregivers at Visiting Angels are trained to our standards, they understand the aging process and are committed to making a positive difference in the lives of our clients.