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Happy Elderly Woman with GrandkidsI love watching my parents visit with the great grandkids. They have a special connection with each one of my nine grandkids. One of them can walk through their door, and it’s like Christmas morning – joy, joy, joy.

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Children and Elderly

Older people don’t mind giving their time when it comes to young ones. They enjoy almost everything about children. Children so appreciate that someone will really listen to them. It’s a busy world, and parents often just don’t have the quantity of time that an elder can lavish on a child.

Children keep older people feeling young. Even their conversations can make a connection for an older person to what is going on in the world today. A good connection between elders and children can keep an elder healthier, in body and in mind.

My mother was recovering from a hospitalization when one of my grandsons was a baby. Her illness, Guillain Barre, paralyzed her from the neck down. After a month in the hospital, she was just getting where she could walk and use her arms when she came home. Mikey, my son and his wife were living in the little apartment over my parents’ garage. My mother says that knowing she could see little Mikey every day made her work harder to get over her problems. “Your daddy would put him in my arms, and all I thought about was how wonderful he was,” she told me. "There’s nothing like a baby to make you feel better all over."

As my grandchildren have grown, so have the blessings they bring to me and my parents. My oldest grandsons are now 11, and they can be such a big help in the yard and around the house. For elders who have mobility issues, children can “grandsit” or be the designated “Go-fer.” My parents’ house has a second floor, and the grandkids don’t mind at all retrieving something my mother needs from upstairs.

I’m approaching the 60 year mark, and suffer a bit from arthritis. One of my grandsons has starting coming over and working for me in the yard. He pulls weeds and picks up fallen branches. He does a lot of chores that I could do alone, but it’s a lot more fun with him as company. He’s now old enough to do a little mowing. He loves getting on my red lawn tractor and mowing the back field. It’s a job I don’t relish. What a blessing he’s been to me.

Involving Children In Caring For Elderly

Many assisted living communities and retirement villages are now recognizing the beneficial connection between seniors and children. These intergenerational activities range from elders helping children with school work, to both generations taking art classes together. Currently the art from some of these classes are on display at California’s State Capitol in Sacramento. The response to the exhibit has been remarkable.

If you’re the caregiver to an older loved one, why not encourage come of the children of the family to “help” in the caring. It will teach them empathy for older people while making lasting memories. The joy they will bring to your older loved one will make their life richer. Children are a blessing that should be shared.


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About The Author: Karen Everett Watson is a Gerontologist and has over 10 years experience as a Journalist. Karen has spent 4 years in the senior community interviewing retirement community residents. She also wrtites articles for, a comprehensive Assisted Living online directory, trusted by seniors and families. also provides free placement services to help Seniors and their families find assisted living based on the senior's care needs, family's budget and location.


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