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Fulfilling the Role of Grandparent During the Senior Years

grandfather with granddaughter

The day when an adult tells their parents they are going to become grandparents, is a magical moment in time. There are bound to be a million and one thoughts, but for those in their senior years, there may be some concerns as well. How can I be the best grandparent I want to be for my grandchild if I am getting older? Well, it is possible to be an amazing grandad or grandma at any age, the trick is all in the preparation and taking care of yourself.

Listen to Your Children

The main trick to being a fantastic grandparent is to listen to your children and respect their parenting style. They will inevitably do things their own way, and you don’t have to agree, but you do have to pay attention. This is how they are choosing to raise their own young people and your role is to fit in with that, not to change it. Listening to one another can move mountains and hold so much value when it comes to protecting old relationships and growing new ones too.

Engage with Your Physical Health

If you are going to be spending time with young children that you will love and adore, engaging with your physical health seems like a good idea. This is a new motivation to protect your overall health and if there are any issues you have been ignoring, this is the time to find a way forward. Seniors can experience a whole range of problems as they age, and here are a few that you may be facing.

Hearing Loss

The best solution for hearing loss is supportive auditory devices like hearing aids which can be acquired after a specialist appointment. Going through any of the symptoms of hearing loss can be debilitating, and you want to be completely on the ball when it comes to giving yourself the best grandparent experience possible. Typical auditory issues in old age that indicate a bigger problem include:

  • Listening to things at full volume.

  • Struggling to follow conversations.

  • Asking people to repeat themselves a lot.

  • Feeling less confident when out and about.


Diabetes is a condition that affects over 15 million seniors in the US. It occurs when your blood glucose level is too high and causes a range of symptoms from dysuria to polydipsia. These should never be ignored because they can lead to a coma and death, and when you notice the signs, it is time to get treatment.

Living Close By

There is a big chance that you will want to live close by to your children and their children when the time feels right. Have a conversation with your independents and make sure they are on board with the proposal before you make any commitments. If you do decide to move house and live closer to your family, there are benefits as a senior. There will be less travel time and more face-to-face interaction opportunities and everyone will feel more like a unit as opposed to spread out in different areas. It is a great way to get to know your grandchildren in a stress-free environment and means you can be around whenever the need arises.

Accept Your Limits

Senior citizens have limits in terms of capacity and resilience. There is only so much you can do in one single sitting, and that is absolutely understandable. Try to not accept too much responsibility because you run the risk of exacerbating pre-existing health conditions or becoming exhausted and causing other problems. Everyone has a peak and you need to respect yours. Only hang out with your grandkids when you have enough energy and can look after them safely, and never overcommit. The same is true of what you do when you are taking the lead with their care. Only plan days out that are completely accessible so that everyone feels happy and comfortable.

Get to Grips with New Tech

If you are going to live further afield, or you just want a way to receive lots of cute photos of the beautiful new arrival, then it is time to get tech savvy. Many seniors have embraced the advantages of modern technology, but some are still wary. However, there are loads of advantages when it comes to navigating life as an older grandparent! With a smartphone, you can send and receive pictures instantly, make video calls to catch up and check in whenever you want to, and stay organized with your commitments too. There are all sorts of apps that will help with other parts of your life as well, such as health management ones and even banking.

Babyproof Your House

It is important to make sure your home is safe for any children that visit. So, if you have lots of antiques, choking hazards, and sharp corners, you will need to make some adjustments. This may be more difficult for senior people but there are bound to be plenty of people willing to help and make it easier. There’s a solid chance that your children will want your house to be safe for their little ones, so this is a good place to start.

Start a Book of Memories

It may not be the happiest of thoughts, but the reality is, as a senior grandparent you may not have as many years with the young ones as you would have in previous times. So, make the most of the space you do get together by ensuring every single memory is treasured and stored. Take all the pictures, write every story down, and create a beautiful book filled with all the wonderful moments you have with one another. You can pass this on whenever you are ready, and it is something that your grandchildren will definitely cherish as they age. Never underestimate the power of a solid grandparent relationship, regardless of age or distance.

Senior grandparents may have a few more challenges to navigate than those who step into this role earlier in life. However, protecting key parts of your physical health like your hearing, and making sure you are living every moment to the fullest, will ensure that this journey is fulfilling nonetheless.