How to Help Kids Adjust When an Ailing Grandparent Moves in

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  • Have an open conversation with children about changes and why.
  • Seek professional help to assist the grandparent and provide emotional support for the family.
  • Establish routines for meals, medication, and tasks to create a sense of structure.
  • Practice self-care and seek support from family and friends.
  • Foster a relationship between grandparent and child to strengthen bonds and provide emotional support.

A family may face one of the most challenging experiences when an ailing grandparent moves in. There are many factors to consider when adapting to this new family dynamic, including how it will affect children. Children may feel mixed emotions, such as sadness, confusion, and anxiety, as they adjust to this new way of living.

As a parent, it’s essential to approach the situation with empathy and understanding, creating a safe space for your child to process their emotions. Here are some tips on how to help your children adjust to an ailing grandparent moving in.

Open Communication

The first step is to have an honest conversation with your child. Talk to them about what is happening and why. Be open about the changes that will occur in the household and how they may affect their daily lives.

It’s also crucial to emphasize that their grandparent is still the same person despite their illness, and while they may require extra care and attention, they still love and care for them. Avoid sugarcoating and be as transparent as possible. Children deserve to know about the changes that may affect their lives.

Professional Help

nurse giving tea to her senior patient

It may be beneficial to seek professional help to assist the grandparent in their care, such as a nursing assistant or home health aide. This will help them maintain their independence and emotionally support the entire family. You can also look into a reputable home care agency that offer caregiving services so your family gets the help they need.

In addition, doing so will ensure you will still have time to take care of your kids. Most often, all your children need is to have their parents present, and having a home care professional taking care of the grandparent will help make that happen.

Establish Routines

Establishing a routine can be beneficial for both the grandparent and the child. Knowing what activities and tasks will occur each day can provide a sense of structure and stability. Have a detailed schedule for meal times, medication, and other necessary activities. Ensure your child understands each task and how they can be helpful to their grandparent. This can help promote a sense of responsibility and empathy.


As a parent, you may be juggling various responsibilities and emotions while helping your family adjust to this new way of living. It’s crucial to take breaks and practice self-care. Take regular intervals to rest and recharge. Consider seeking support from your partner, family, or friends. This can help alleviate some of the stress of caring for an ailing grandparent.

Encourage Bonding

grandparents watching a TV game with the family

Grandparents are vital in the lives of children, and studies have shown that a close bond between grandparents and grandchildren can significantly impact their well-being. The relationship between them is unique and crucial, with many grandparents becoming surrogate parents, providing emotional support, and offering guidance to their grandchildren.

Strengthening Family Bonds

Grandparents play an essential role in strengthening family bonds. By fostering a relationship between your child and their grandparents, you create a multigenerational support network for your child. This network can help during stress, illness, or family turmoil by providing your child a loving and supportive environment.

Developing Skills and Knowledge

One of the significant benefits of spending time with grandparents is that they can help your child develop new skills or pass on the knowledge they’ve acquired over the years. Grandparents typically have more time and patience to engage with their grandchildren, which allows them to teach life skills such as cooking, gardening, and budgeting.

Providing Emotional Support

Grandparents can provide emotional support for children when they need it most. With their years of experience and life lessons, they can offer valuable advice and guidance during challenging times. Spending time with grandparents can help create a positive and nurturing environment for children, promoting overall emotional well-being.

Creating Memories

Spending time with grandparents can create lasting memories that children will cherish forever. Whether playing games or listening to stories, these shared experiences become essential to a child’s life. Grandparents often offer a different perspective on life, creating unique and memorable moments for your child.

In conclusion, while the idea of having an ailing grandparent move in can be overwhelming, it’s essential to approach the situation with empathy and understanding. Children may struggle with the changes, but with open communication, empathy, routines, and bonding, it can be a positive experience.

Practice self-care and seek professional help if necessary to ensure that the grandparent and child receive the support they need. Remember, as a parent, you play a crucial role in helping your child adjust and cope with this new family dynamic.

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