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AIBU to ask how old is too old to look after very young children?

(12 Posts)
carabos Fri 09-Sep-11 15:51:34

Today I have seen a very old lady pushing a buggy with a child of about 18mths - 2yrs in it. There were no other adults anywhere in the vicinity. When I say "too old" I mean this lady looked about 80 (and before you ask, I'm not a 22yr old who thinks 40 is one step from death). In fact, my GM is 92 and this lady didn't look much different from her. She was huffing and puffing as she pushed the buggy up a slight incline. She looked pretty frail TBH.

Accepting that she may well be decades younger than she appeared, what's the Mumsnet opinion - how old is too old?

worraliberty Fri 09-Sep-11 15:53:54

It depends on the health of the older person and the age and 'temperament' of the child.

I don't think it's something you can just throw numbers at.

HeifferunderConstruction Fri 09-Sep-11 15:53:57

My GParents wouldn't be able to look after my 2yr old on their own they know that aswell as I do, due to him being a human hurricane and them being in their 80's

I think it varies from person to person If you can't sprint after a toddler on the loose you're to old really.

DanJARMouse Fri 09-Sep-11 15:54:18

My Gran is 85 and I wouldnt leave my 3/5/7yr olds with her.

I think it comes down to being physically fit, I know of a 72yr old man who plays tennis 3 times a week, teaches kids tennis etc and is very fit..... but I also know someone in their late 50s/early 60s that I wouldnt say is fit to look after small children.

iskra Fri 09-Sep-11 15:54:45

Hm. I would actually leave my 3 yo with either of my grandmothers (aged 91 & 83) in certain situations. But they are both pretty hearty.

zelda1982 Fri 09-Sep-11 15:55:46

My nan is 79 and can look after my little ones (not that ask her too often, usually only if im desperate) She will also push the buggy if we're out. It "keeps her upright" as she puts it lol.

halcyondays Fri 09-Sep-11 15:57:37

It's less about age and more about health. Some young people huff and puff too and some older people are still very fit and capable. I have seen old people looking after young children sometimes and thought they looked quite frail and not really up to it, but who knows!

yousankmybattleship Fri 09-Sep-11 15:58:07

I don't think you can put an age on it. Maybe she was taking the child for a walk in the buggy and then returning to the parents.

talking2myself Fri 09-Sep-11 16:18:05

It definitely depends on the health of the person in my opinion. My ILs are in their late 70s and they are pretty hearty so I would leave them with my 3yr old now that I know he's older and will listen to them and not runaway by the road. I wouldn't expect them to look after him very often though as it is still a lot of work for older folks because of how tiring looking after small kids is.

Eglu Fri 09-Sep-11 16:24:23

As others have said it is very individual.

My MIL is 71 and I would let her look after my DC at her home but not out and about as she has had 2 hip replacements. Actually she can look after DS1 (8) and DS2 (4) but DD is only 10 weeks old and I wouldn't leave her with her. obviously she is too little atm, but I wouldn't leave her with a baby or toddler as it would be too much for her.

exoticfruits Fri 09-Sep-11 16:42:23

It is 'how long is a piece of string'. There is no such thing as a typical 70yr old-some are in a home with dementia, some are out riding their horse every day.

Kladdkaka Fri 09-Sep-11 16:45:53

If you can't sprint after a toddler on the loose you're to old really.

Oh well, that puts all us disabled parents up the creek then.hmm

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