UK’s Grandparents feel forgotten

British seniors regard their grandchildren as their “main priority” – but can feel forgotten and neglected, according to new research.

Grandparents live an average of 84 miles away from their grandkids and a quarter see them only six times or less a year.

Half described themselves as “sad” when they don’t see their grandchildren, while nearly a quarter said they felt “unfulfilled”.

When grandparents do see get to see their grandchildren six in 10 said they only see them for a day at a time – or less.

Commissioned by retirement housebuilder, Churchill Retirement Living, the research of 2,000 British grandparents looked at their relationships with their grandchildren.

Broadcaster and campaigner for the elderly, Dame Esther Rantzen, said:“I speak from personal experience when I say the grandparent/grandchild relationship is so special.

“I had a wonderful relationship with my grandparents and now am a grandmother to three fabulous boys.

“Grandparents really do play a crucial role in helping young families, and it’s important they are recognised and appreciated for all they do.”

An overwhelming majority of respondents – nine in 10 – described their grandchildren as their main priority.

Four in five respondents said seeing their grandchildren made them feel “delighted” and a fifth said they “forget all their worries” when the kids come to visit.  

However, a quarter of grandparents said they are lonely and half said they don’t see their grandkids often enough.

More than a quarter of grandparents get to see their beloved grandchildren six times or less each year.

Half described themselves as “sad” when they don’t see their grandchildren, while nearly a quarter said they felt “unfulfilled”.

When grandparents do get to see their grandchildren six in 10 said they only see them for a day at a time – or less.

Two thirds of grandparents said they have to initiate any requests to see their grandkids.

Over a fifth said they struggle to see their grandkids because they live too far away or because it’s too difficult for them to travel.

More than a quarter of grandparents never speak to their grandchildren over the phone.

Dame Esther added:“I feel energised and refreshed after spending time with my grandchildren, but not everyone is fortunate enough to live close to their family. 

“Loneliness can impact very heavily on people’s health, and this is more likely if people are living alone, or far from their family and grandchildren.

“On National Grandparents Day this weekend we’re asking people to think of the older people in their lives, not just their Grandparents – they may be living alone, or suffering from loneliness.

“Drop in for a visit or give them a call - it could mean the world to them.”

Churchill Retirement Living’s developments help provide companionship and a community which reduces isolation and loneliness. The apartments are designed to help maintain an independent lifestyle for older people and their heath and general wellbeing.

Churchill Retirement Living is holding events at selected developments across the UK to celebrate National Grandparents Day on 4th October. 


Enjoyed this article?

Share it with your friends and family through your preferred social media channel.