| GRANDPARENTS have become the 'life-savers' of the family unit as a result of the financial crisis, according to the Spanish Confederation for the Elderly (CEOMA).
They care for grandchildren, allowing their own kids to work where they are able to find jobs, and hand out cash and food parcels where their offspring are unemployed.
According to CEOMA, grandparents are 'more than just babysitters' – they also 'complement efficiently' the upbringing tasks their own children face with their families.
And they are becoming 'necessary', says CEOMA, because of the way working hours 'invade' family life – and babysitting the grandchildren has turned into a 'routine obligation'.
However, only two per cent of grandparents interviewed said they found looking after their children's children 'stressful', and that 62 per cent say they have more fun with them than with their own kids.
About 53 per cent say they play with their grandchildren more than they did with their own offspring.
CEOMA says grandparents becoming involved more these days is helping to reinforce family ties and mutual support between the generations.