Radio host Kyle Sandilands is urging listeners to keep in touch with their grandparents to secure their spot in the family will, following the death of his own beloved granny.
Speaking on Wednesday’s The Kyle and Jackie O Show, Sandilands, 47, revealed his 99-year-old grandmother, Sybil Sandilands, had died and urged listeners to visit their grandparents more often.
He continued: “Even though they’re so boring and they smell weird, you gotta go there.” No stranger to controversy, he then joked: “And you’ve gotta secure your spot in the family will!”
Sandilands said he received the news of his grandma’s death at 3am, adding that Sybil was “less than one year off making 100”.
“I was only thinking about her on the weekend, because she’s so old. Ninety nine. I thought, ‘I better go and see her’.”
He also added how his grandmother didn’t get the opportunity to receive a letter from Queen Elizabeth because she never reached her milestone birthday.
Spending time with and visiting older relatives has huge benefits, aside from securing a spot in the family will, and most grandparents would attest that a visit from the grandkids is often the highlight of a day.
And although he could have perhaps chose his words better, Sandilands could be onto something given a study published in Journal of Health and Social Behaviour found social isolation among older people has been associated with cognitive decline, depression, increased rates of infection and even mortality, meaning it’s important for adult kids and grandkids to put in the extra effort with older family members.
While many grandkids do put in the effort with their grandparents, a 2014 US study found that 35 per cent of adults with a living grandparent communicated on a monthly basis, while 2 per cent said they never contact their grandparents. Roughly 20 per cent of adults who are in touch with a grandparent at least monthly opt for texting their grandparents, 16 per cent use social media sites and 12 per cent keep in touch with their grandparents via email.
It seems only fair that grandkids and their parents should go the extra mile for grandparents too, given Australian nanas and pops are contributing the equivalent of $3.94 billion annually in childcare costs, by caring for their grandchildren, according to the survey of 1,000 people conducted by comparison site Mozo.
One in five grandchildren now receive some form of care from grandparents, with many grandparents sacrificing their own time in retirement to help younger members of the family. The typical amount of childcare provided by grandparents is 30 hours a month, saving their families about $267 a month in childcare fees. But some grandparents are doing much more, pushing up the average to 58 hours a month, equivalent to $517 in childcare costs, and taking away a whole chunk of time that could be spent relaxing!