A perhaps unexpected effect of the current recession is the number of retired people who are consulting osteopaths after sustaining injuries, whilst caring for their grandchildren, as their own children are forced to spend longer at work.
Martin Davies, the senior osteopath at 4 large Cheshire clinics, started to notice the increase in predominantly “grandma’s” about 12 months ago but this has now risen exponentially as more and more elderly people suffer injuries whilst playing on the floor with their grandchildren.
“There has been at least a 60% increase in the number of grandparents that have injured their backs and necks whist lifting their grandchildren or playing energetic games in inappropriate positions over the last year. When these patients come in they are initially a little sheepish as to how the injuries have been sustained but it is certainly obvious from our perspective that the responsibility for childcare is falling increasingly on the older generation, who often seem ill prepared for such sudden exertion.” Said Mr Davies from his Nantwich surgery.
There have been several instances when ladies in their mid 70’s have sustained injuries whilst playing football with their great grandchildren. One in particular, who dived to save a goal, whilst playing with her 6 year old grandson.
It is perhaps surprising that the overall level of fitness of this group of people is unusually high, and so it is only when they “forget how old they are” and overdo their exertions that these injuries seem to occur.
We advise our patients just to “warm up” before their grandchildren arrive and try to pre-plan the day’s activities to ensure nothing involving too much exertion occurs.
Generally most cope admirably with their new role. Injuries seem to occur only when, like most of us, we forget our age and limitations.