Did you know that about one third of older people across Europe help with the care of grandchildren on a daily basis? A major survey by the European Commission has found that “the demise of the family is a myth“, with many older people spending an average of 4.6 hours per day looking after grandchildren or helping others.
Gerard Scully, information officer with Age Action Ireland, said this reiterated the point that grandparents remained an “essential part of family life”. This should be a choice, however. “If older people want to look after their grandchildren they should be able to. If, however, they don’t, there should be adequate childcare in place so undue burden is not put on grandparents to be long-term childminders, often unpaid ones.”
A family illness is another situation where grandparents are frequently called upon to come to the rescue. The wonderful Geri Atric has been so busy minding her two grandsons while their mum is ill, that she’s had to put her very humourous blog Ageing Ungracefully, onto the back burner. Supergran Geri has however discovered a silver lining to her babyminding duties as all the bending, lifting and running after children has melted 5kg off her waistline.
I take my hat off to Geri and to all grandparents out there who help to ease the burden of parenting in today’s busy world. So here’s to all Supergrans and Grandads! Missing you, Geri!
Details of the survey were found in the Irish Times.