The bond between grandchild and grandparent is a special relationship.
Some of our fondest memories are thanks to our grandparents; fun weekend sleepovers at their house and memorable days out that still make us smile when we think back to them. Maybe Granny let you taste the forbidden fruit of endless sweets whenever you visited, or perhaps Granddad taught you a new skill you’ll treasure for life.
2020 hasn’t given us many chances to enjoy new experiences with our grandparents. But that doesn’t mean we can’t show them how much we care. We’ve got Black Friday deals on all kinds of grandparents gifts for every occasion. And with Grandparents Day just around the corner, Red Letter Days has launched a brand new campaign that will give you a chance to reconnect and make incredible new memories together.
How 2020 has affected grandparents
We conducted a survey of more than 4,600 people to find out how Covid-19 has affected grandchild and grandparent relationships. Sadly, we weren’t surprised to find many people have been struggling. 85% of people said they haven’t been able to see family due to the pandemic, and 87% of grandchildren have only seen their grandparents once over the last six months, if at all. 40% of grandparents have even missed the birth of their grandchild due to hospital restrictions.
The restrictions around family visits, whether they’re due to official rules or to try and keep older relatives safe, are taking a toll on everyone. 80% of the people we spoke to said they’ve been impacted emotionally, while 42% felt they had been impacted mentally. In addition to the loneliness, 31% feel as though they’ve lost a sense of relationship with loved ones.
Mark Newey, respected psychotherapist and founder of headucate.me, explained why grandparents in particular are likely to have struggled with the pandemic.
“The virus and the lockdown have been hard on most of us, but none more than for kids and the elderly. When you couple this with the loneliness that older people were already feeling, the separation from family and grandkids is an even bigger burden to bear.”
It’s clear that everyone has found this year difficult and we’ll all be keen to make up for precious lost time once restrictions ease. Celebrating the little-known holiday of Grandparents Day could be a great way to show your grandparents how much you care about them.
Celebrating Grandparents Day virtually
Falling on the first Sunday in October here in the UK, Grandparents Day has been celebrated since the 1970s. Unlike Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, it’s yet to become an established part of our holiday calendar. But after months of being apart and stuck inside, many of us are now keen to grab any chance to have fun with our loved ones.
In many parts of the UK, restrictions mean that even socially-distanced celebrations aren’t a realistic prospect. However, there are plenty of other ways to treat your grandparents and make them feel special.
Despite the elderly’s reputation as a generation of technophobes, many grandparents have embraced technology to keep connections alive. 76% of people said they’ve been keeping in touch with family and friends via phone calls. 42% said FaceTime and other video calling services had allowed them to see the faces of those they love during lockdown.
Jo Howarth, a qualified mindfulness practitioner and founder of The Happiness Club, explained why these alternative methods of connection are so important.
“’Some families are making more effort to spend time together, albeit largely via online platforms rather than in the flesh. That time is being seen as more precious, more valuable.”
These methods of communication could also be a way to host a get-together. You could arrange to play games over video call, or get creative and find games that can be joined with just a phone call. You could also send your grandparent a gift to show them you care, whether you choose a personalised hamper or experience day chosen to give them something to look forward to.
Rebuilding family bonds
A lovely day out with their family is what many people are craving more than anything. 61% of the people we surveyed said it would be “extremely valuable” to take part in an experience day with a loved one. Some had a specific activity in mind, with a staycation or afternoon tea topping the list for 53% and 52% of people respectively.
To help the UK’s grandparents reconnect with their families, Red Letter Days has launched its #grandparentsgrandoutings campaign. People can nominate their grandparent or parent to enjoy an experience day with their grandchild.
Lil and Dorris, 96 year old adrenaline loving twins celebrate Grandparents Day with a thrilling helicopter ride with their great-grandson.
‘’Elderly people need to be recognised during this hard time and what better way than to enjoy an experience with their family, to enjoy quality time together and really make some memories which last a lifetime,’’ said Dan Mountain, CEO of Red Letter Days.
Great deals on great days out
If you’re on a tight budget but still want to get out and have fun, our Black Friday deals will let you do just that. Sign up to our newsletter to be the first to know about these unmissable offers.