The Importance of Intergenerational Relationships


Grandparents often develop a special bond with their grandchildren. Without the daily pressures of parenting and with the added benefit of wisdom and life experience, grandparents can truly enjoy these intergenerational relationships.

As you might expect, these bonds can be a tremendous source of joy for families – but researchers are learning that the advantages of these relationships go far beyond that. Studies are now proving that these relationships have long-lasting benefits for the health and well-being of both grandkids and grandparents.

Here’s how. 

Grandparents truly impact their grandchildren’s lives.

Studies show that as many as 9 out of 10 adult grandchildren feel that their grandparents influenced their beliefs and values.

Stanford researchers also found that grandkids turn to their grandparents to get advice on important decisions and feel like they can discuss problems with their grandparents. 

This is especially true for teens who have strong bonds with their grandparents or other trusted adults. In adolescence, grandkids often choose to confide in their grandparents instead of their parents during challenging times. 

Babysitting can boost longevity for grandparents.

Grandparents who babysit their grandkids or other family members are living longer according to a study published in Evolution and Human Behavior

The data found that seniors who provided some childcare, whether for their grandchildren or for others, had a lower risk of death over a 20-year period than those who did not help others. 

It’s something to remember if you keep the grandkids for the evening, the weekend, or for a week-long stay. You could be adding years to your life!

Grandparents can actually make families happier.

A study at Boston College found that “an emotionally close relationship between grandparent and grandchild is associated with fewer symptoms of depression for both generations.”

For kids, time with grandparents means having the perfect companions to play with and have fun. Grandparents are some of the best partners when it comes to using creativity and imagination to discover the wonders of life.

In turn, most grandparents truly love their role. According to the American Grandparents Association, 72% of grandparents think being a grandparent is the single most important and satisfying thing in their life.

Grandchildren can keep you mentally sharp.

Spending just the right amount of time with grandchildren could sharpen your cognitive skills. 

When Australian researchers studied 120 grandmothers, they found that those who helped care for grandchildren one day per week scored highest on memory and other mental tests. 

Researchers found that interaction with other people stimulates nerve pathways that are beneficial to our brains.

Grandparents impact development.

Time with grandparents is time well spent. Study results show “the emotional relationship between grandparents and their grandchildren can significantly affect the children’s academic, psychological, and social development.”

These relationships contribute to the well-being of the younger generation and cultivate joy and purpose for older adults.

Grandparents & Grandkids: A Winning Relationship

Meaningful, purposeful relationships between young and old result in a dual win: they help youth develop their own sense of self-worth and meaning while enriching the lives of older adults who contribute to the well-being of upcoming generations. 

If you don’t have grandkids, spending time with nieces, nephews, or other family members can bring similar benefits. Volunteering with children is another great way to cultivate intergenerational relationships.

Making Time for Relationships With Senior Living

One of the great benefits of senior living is that it gives you back more of your time. 

Senior Star residents enjoy a maintenance-free lifestyle that allows them to spend more time with family and friends.

Instead of chores and to-do lists, you can take advantage of delicious chef-prepared meals, housekeeping, and other services that add hours to your day and give you more energy to spend with those you love.

Visits to see family and friends are worry-free knowing that your home is safe and cared for while you are out of town. There’s no need to rush home. You can plan spur-of-the-moment trips or extend your stay whenever you feel like it.

Are you ready for senior living to help you make a meaningful impact on the lives of others?

 Contact us to learn more.