...with this..."As a pediatrician, I am often asked if seniors (both grandparents and non-grandparents) are appropriate caregivers for children. I think there are a number of factors to consider (the physical and mental health of the senior as well as the age of the child, for example). However, I believe there are a number of benefits to having senior citizens as caregivers. The first being the same benefits I experienced with my grandparents — the transmission of experiences and life learning that comes with age. Additionally, I think contact with seniors can promote patience and teach children to appreciate slowing down in this fast-paced world.
Children are not the only winners in this type of relationship. There is good evidence that seniors can benefit from contact with children as well. Research in this area is limited mostly to grandparent relationships, but I feel it can be easily extrapolated to committed non-grandparent caregivers as well.
After retirement from the workforce and the departure of their own children, many seniors can become more withdrawn and feel a loss of purpose in their lives. Caring for a child can keep them active and give a sense of continuing to contribute to society."