Your lucky day! Get a bonus grandma!

Imagine this: kids sick at home, they can’t go to school today. Grandparents live far away and can’t help. Parents are frustrated because they don’t know who will sit with the kids at home for the day. Can you relate?

Probably yes. You are a parent or your friends or siblings are parents and face these challenges. No problem. You can get some extra grandparents for help!

Wait! What? Extra grandparents? How come? Look, in Denmark, senior citizens are very active. Most of them are healthy and up and running. Who said there is no life after retiring? Plus, they wish to contribute to society as active members. Age is indeed not an issue. So, they volunteer to become bonus or reserve grandparents to kids, whose parents need some extra help. So, how does it work? Is it safe?

Seniors to the test!
One of the most innovative schemes has been run by the Municipality of Gladsaxe. Look how this whole system works. Grandparents must be recruited. There are therefore campaigns inthe media every now and then. Then applications are reviewed and there is a check if the seniors who applied are fit and healthy and have no criminal record. After this background check, there is also a home visit, prior to selection.

The seniors are even trained in first aid and childhood diseases. And they take part in specialsocial events to get to know the families and their kids. A carnival and picnic are on the schedule.

However, the seniors are in control. They are the ones who offer help after all. They can set their own schedule (when they are available for babysitting) and they can also declinematches with parents and their kids, no questions asked. Parents must accept that they will get help from the Reserve Grandparents only when their kids are ill. So, no babysitting asked to go out and party!

This is another example of Nordic practicality: both sides win. Parents get help and seniors become active and contribute to society. Plus, the latter socialize and combat loneliness that often comes with age and when grown-up kids create their own families.