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Monday, May 8, 2017

Grandparents, Grandchildren Cancer Support (Research, Video 1:48)


Holding hugs and holding hearts are what grandparents and grandchildren do best. During sickness and health, they can play crucial roles in one another’s lives. A grandchild with cancer greatly impacts a grandparent’s quality of life. In a research study including grandparents of children with and without cancer, grandparents were assessed regarding sleep, medications, and hospitalizations.

The following results were reported:

1) Grandparents of children with cancer reported significantly worse quality of life. They also reported more problems with anxiety, depression, and pain.

2) Grandparents of children with cancer reported taking longer to fall asleep and taking more medications in the last 4 weeks.

3) Hospitalizations across groups were comparable. But grandmothers living in urban locations, and retired/unemployed grandparents experienced reduced quality of life.


Cancer of a grandchild affects a grandparent in significant ways. Given that four or more individuals may be affected per child, and that a grandparent’s well-being can influence the whole family, interventions targeting at-risk grandparents are needed.

Sometimes, the grandparent is the person with cancer who needs support. While many family members and friends may rally around the grandparent, loving attention of a grandchild can also be very helpful. This video shows how Cheryl Gerald's granddaughter stepped up to do her part in helping her grandmother, especially while she went through chemotherapy for breast cancer.


Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback and e-book editions in America and other countries at online and offline booksellers.
Hospice and Nursing Homes Blog