Summer can turn out to be a challenging time for grandparents who have arthritis or another rheumatic condition. If you’ve recently been dealing with this type of condition, it’s important to find ways to interact with your grandchildren that won’t make your symptoms worse. Keep these communication tips in mind, so you’ll be able to have fun with these kids during summer when they’re over at your house.
Communicating and Playing with Older Grandkids
There are plenty of activities you can do with older grandkids when they visit you this summer. If they have a favorite dessert or dish that you normally make for them, have them help you with making it. The kids can handle tasks you might have trouble with, such as rolling dough. This gives them a chance to try their hand at cooking or baking while also spending time with you.
If you want to spend time outdoors with your grandkids, head outside for a walk. Going for walks is a good way for you to get some exercise, sunshine and fresh air. Your grandchildren can run around at your local park, or you can toss a ball back and forth to them if your symptoms aren’t too bad. For a more creative outdoor activity, consider setting up a scavenger hunt in your yard where they have to use clues to find hidden treasures.
For quieter activities, consider reading to your grandkids. Have them choose a favorite book for you to read to them, or let them do the reading if they’re old enough. This is a calm activity that won’t irritate your joints.
When you talk to your grandkids about your condition, be honest with them. If your symptoms become more severe, let them know that you’ll need to switch to a different activity.
Communicating and Interacting with Younger Grandkids
If your grandkids are babies or toddlers, make sure you work on picking them up safely. Never bend or lean over to lift them. Instead, lower yourself to one knee to gently pick them up. The stress of picking them up should be on your legs rather than your back.
Arts and crafts are a fun way to spend time with younger grandkids and keep them occupied. Depending on your symptoms, you might be able to make cards or cut out paper shapes. Other ideas include sticker books, coloring books and homemade scrapbooks made of printed pictures.
When your pain is more severe, choose an appropriate movie or TV show for your grandchildren to watch with you. This lets you rest while they stay entertained. If they’re old enough, give them a fun snack to enjoy while watching.
With younger grandkids, it’s important to be reassuring about your condition. Toddlers might be able to tell that you’re in pain. Let them know that you’ll be alright, that you love them and that you need to rest for a bit.
If you need a provider to assist you with your treatment plan, please get a referral from your doctor and contact Arthritis Center of Lexington today.