by Ken Canfield, Ph.D.

This week I have an encouragement and an announcement that I’m very excited about.

The encouragement is about your health. Being a grandparent is an incredible privilege, but often this stage of life brings added health concerns to deal with. At Grandkids Matter, we’re all about connecting generations; grandkids are better off when they have grandparents in their lives, and so the older generation needs the health and energy to keep up with the younger generation. 

We often talk about the benefits that grandparents bring to our grandkids: we transmit wisdom, provide a link to the past, act as extra sources of support and guidance, and give unconditional love like no one else. (And those are just a few of the benefits.) Of course, we get plenty of physical, emotional and even spiritual benefits coming back our way as well. 

And since these grandparenting years are such a rewarding time of life for most of us, why not do all we can to extend these years, enjoy them for as long as we can, and continue making those key investments in our grandkids? Shouldn’t we try to be our best so we can give our best to our grandkids?

I realize that all grandparents will eventually face illnesses, surgeries and/or difficult physical limitations. It’s just a part of life that we need to accept, then make the best of it by continuing to do everything we can to stay vibrant and active. 

Also, I’ve found that it’s important to communicate openly with your children and grandchildren about your health situation, in appropriate ways. It’s okay if your grandkids know about challenges you’re facing; that gives them opportunities to comfort and encourage you, and you’ll be a powerful role model for them as you go through these later years of life with poise and dignity. 

Personally, I have been quite open with my grandkids, saying things like, “Pray for Granddad, he has a kidney stone.” That also included more serious discussions during the declining health and eventual passing of my wife. We often included the grandkids as Dee’s health became a regular and uniting prayer concern. That was part of how we shared life together these past few years.

When we grandparents can have that kind of open relationship with our grandkids and the larger family, it creates a bridge for younger family members to share in similar ways with us. The result is a closer bond for all. That’s why, during this stage of life, we need to grow closer and communicate with our children and grandchildren at the deepest possible level. 

Now, here’s the exciting announcement. As we grandparents grow older and our health becomes a bigger concern—not to mention paying for our healthcare—we get to navigate the maze called Medicare to make sure our needs are still covered. Here at Grandkids Matter, we’ve created Grandparent Benefits—a set of insurance offerings and a team of people equipped to help you at any stage along the process. We’re here for you, and we’re ready to help you find a solution that works best for you and at the best price. 

Our website is at, and you’ll find lots of helpful information there. You can also call (800) 643-7554 and we have specialists to assist you. The Medicare system is complex, so we have licensed insurance agents who can help fill out paperwork and answer all your questions about the various supplements. 

I apologize if this week’s blog turned into more of a sales pitch there at the end, but I know this is a legitimate need for so many grandparents and we want to come alongside you. Maybe you’re just turning 65, or maybe you already have your Medicare options in place, but you want to support our efforts to help grandparents. For whatever questions or concerns you might have about Medicare, please contact us: or (800) 643-7554. 

Please share with other grands: Is your health keeping you from being the grandparent you want to be? What steps have you taken to improve your health? Join the discussion on our Facebook page.