Problems associated with aging or chronic conditions may affect the ability of grandparents to take care of children. Learn why you need to keep in mind when you decide to let your grandparents spend more time with their little ones.
It is really important what you expect when you leave the children in the care of grandparents. Many times the parents ask grandparents to stay with their babies and it's definitely a normal reaction. Knowing that you have grown up well, you have no doubt that they know how to take care of children. However, your parents are older than when they grew up to you and difficulties may arise if children have to change or take their hands.
"After grandmothers reach the age of 70, the aging process will have a clear impact on day-to-day activities and the type of move they can make." The activities they can engage with grandchildren could be reduced as a consequence, "he explains Dr. Lawrence Solberg, an elderly physician at the Florida University College of Medicine.
Effect of aging
Over the years, there have been many physical, emotional and psychological changes. The threshold for triggering stress is lower and concerns can arise for many reasons. Brain processing speed is decreasing, short-term memory is not so accurate, bones become more fragile, and bone mass can be reduced. Vision and hearing will not be so accurate, and joint pains can be unexpected if weather conditions are poor. Many adults who have passed the age of 65 have cardiovascular disease, depression, hypertension, dementia or Alzheimer's. These chronic conditions can jeopardize the ability of grandparents to take care of children.
For example, vision problems can increase the risk of accidents if grandparents take the child to school. Hypertension or heart disease can cause fatigue, and grandparents will find it much harder to play with their babies. Arthritis can prevent a grandfather from taking the baby or touching the toys.
It is also very likely that grandparents take medicines that have side effects such as dizziness or confusion. Even for the healthiest grandparents, the care of the grandchildren can become a challenge. "It may be exhausting for a 75-year-old to raise a 10-pound child. It can cause injuries or damage to the joints," Dr. Solberg.
Your grandparents may not have obvious symptoms to indicate that it may be difficult for them to look after children, but you can always find the signs that indicate your potential problems:
1. Fall of cognitive functions
"Usually this is seen when a grandfather forgets to take the child out of school, prepare the table or follow the general rules of the home. If he forgets to watch the little one or suddenly he does not know where he is or what he does and learn from a a neighbor where the baby is, you need to take action quickly, "recommends Nancy Parsons, a neuroscientist from Sarasota, Florida.
2. The state of weakness
Do you notice that grandparents go harder or can not get things done? Does it take more time to open the door? "The speed and flexibility of movements show the fragility of the muscular and bone mass. If the grandfather's pace began to be slower, it is a sign that they will not respond quickly, for example to stop a child from approaching the stove or the kiln or when it's about to fall on the stairs, "Dr. Solberg said.
3. Chronic illnesses
If your grandparents are diagnosed with chronic disease, find out if they are being treated properly and make sure they feel good. For example, lack of air or intermittent breathing could indicate an increase in heart disease. Some types of illness are more difficult to control. People suffering from diabetic neuropathy may have problems if they need to place the seat belt on the child or when they are driving.
4. Machine state
Look closely at your parents' car. "You always get good looks, and now you see scratching more and more? It could be a problematic sign," says Dr. Solberg.
Did you notice that your parents feel overwhelmed when surrounded by very active or noisy children?
6. Change the mood status
The discomfort or irritability may signal cognitive impairment, anxiety or depression.