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Friday, 15 November 2013

What can elderly and children learn from one another?

The relationship between a grandparent and grandchild is a unique and special one. There is just enough connecting them yet, at the same time, keeping them healthily separate to make contact fulfilling, pleasurable and surprising for both.

Whereas the relationship between parents and children is loving but inevitably fraught with the stresses of life both inside and outside the home, the ties between grandparents and grandkids are relaxed enough to focus on fun, education and enjoyment for both parties.

New eyes

It is difficult not to get jaded with life as the years go by. Sometimes you feel as though you have seen and heard it all before and that there is nothing new left to experience.

Children have the amazing ability to help their elders see the world with fresh eyes and delight with their quirky and uninhibited perspective on life.

It could be the way a child approaches a project, the little things they notice when out and about or simply all of those funny questions they ask which make you think twice.

Whatever it is that is so delightful about spending time in the company of children, it enables a grandparent or other elderly friend or relative to get in touch with their own sense of wonder with the world. 

Past times 

On the side of children, regular contact with their elders can introduce views of the world which they would never otherwise access.

As elders reminisce about their own childhoods, it can open up a view of another time and place which can be enriching to a child’s imagination.

They can also enjoy one another’s company without the immediate pressures and power struggles that are felt between children and their parents!

Keep the spirit up

Most grandparents welcome a visit from their grandchildren. However, ageing often means a drop in energy levels. Just being in the company of a chatty, energetic child can be tiring.

Maintaining energy levels is important. Home devices can make life easier on this front for an ageing resident.

For example, a stair lift takes out the utterly draining task of negotiating the stairs several times a day without compromising the enjoyment of one’s home.

These fixtures are designed for both internal and external use. Indoors, they help in maintaining independence while an outdoor stair lift means there is no restriction on getting out to the shops or to friends. One can be installed for a whole length of stairs or along a few steps which lead to the garden.

It is all about flexibility, independence and being able to accommodate a visit from young people with ease.

Care and responsibility

There is another way in which the elderly and children can offer something to one another.

Older kids can be put in charge of looking after an ageing relative who may need assistance from time to time in simple day-to-day tasks.
This way, the child gets the chance to learn responsibility to others.

This is a guest post supplied by Stannah

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