Most of the nation’s some 70 million grandparents are in the fourth quarter of their lives, and the clock has kept running.
No sleepovers with popcorn and Disney movies. No dance recitals or holiday pageants, let alone any Grandparents’ Day for visiting the kids’ classrooms.
The first 12 months of the pandemic represent a lost year for many in the largest group of grandparents in U.S. history. Most of the nation’s some 70 million grandparents are in the fourth quarter of their lives, and the clock has kept running.
“Working with older adults, I’m seeing a lot of depression, a lot of increases in loneliness,” says Nick Nicholson, a nursing professor and researcher on aging at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut. “It’s been really difficult … the anxiety, the despair, the social isolation. Over time, there are so many adverse effects. The sooner we expand the bubble, the better, so people can start healing together.”
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week offered some beginning steps forward for Year 2, saying fully vaccinated grandparents could visit in a single household with healthy children and grandchildren without masks or other special precautions.