Keeping up with the kids

For Rose and Min Chong, caring for their grandchildren keeps them young at heart.

There’s no slowing Rose Chong and her husband Min, both aged 70. As well as working part-time, like so many grandparents today, they also help care for their young grandchildren.

Grandparents are increasingly being called upon to help take care of their grandchildren. According to data, around 937,000 children in Australia are currently being cared for by grandparents on a regular basis. And with the rise in female participation in the workforce – combined with the cost and lack of available formal childcare – this trend is likely to continue.

While a recent study found that many grandparents consider caring for family one of their ‘greatest achievements in life’, it also found that this role comes at a cost – with 40% of grandparents reporting that they have made significant compromises to do so.

But far from viewing it as a burden, Rose and Min – who star in the new Medibank ‘I am Better’ campaign with their grandchildren aged four and six years old – count themselves lucky.

“My daughter-in-law has gone back to university and my son works, so we look after our grandkids two days a week, and I work three days a week,” says Rose, from her much-loved, colourful costume shop on Gertrude Street in Fitzroy.

“Min is a retired Professor, but he goes into Melbourne University two or three days a week to work with young students. Sometimes he takes the grandchildren with him. And I bring them to work too.

“It’s great fun! We’ve got a special relationship with them.

“I always think that I’m very privileged that my sons and their wives trust me with their kids. I think we’re very lucky.”

“The kids like to join me when I do exercises. It’s not really Michelle Bridges – it’s a granny and a four-year-old with an inflatable space ball.”

Healthy body, healthy mind

Of course, as Rose points out, looking after young children takes a lot of energy, and it’s important to keep healthy, both physically and mentally.

“You have to crawl around on the ground with them, and set up train sets. You also have to be a jump ahead of them mentally to make sure that they’re safe – you have to be able to anticipate the mischief they can get up to.”

Rose says she has been fortunate with her health, but it’s clear her endless energy is no coincidence – she and Min both keep active, and even get the grandkids to join in.

“They quite like to join me when I do exercises. It’s not really Michelle Bridges – it’s a granny and a four-year-old with an inflatable space ball.”

“Min also walks quite a lot and rides his bicycle to work. We both swim. I swim two to three times a week and I go to an exercise class for older women – it’s good fun.”

No slowing down

“I’m still in the workforce with no plans to retire, and I’m lucky enough to work with youngsters that stop me from acting old,” says Rose.

Like many couples balancing work and childminding, the Chongs also make the most of their weekends. As Rose explains, “We usually go out and do something we haven’t done before. We always try and go to a new place. We don’t want to miss out on stuff. We have extreme FoMO – a Fear of Missing Out.

“We have to stay healthy because being sick is very time consuming, and we have other things to do. We don’t want to miss out on anything.”

“We have to stay healthy because being sick is very time consuming, and we have other things to do. We don’t want to miss out on anything.”

Becoming a Medibank mega star

The couple’s love of exploring their city and getting out and about is exactly how Rose, Min and their grandchildren found themselves starring in Medibank’s new ‘I am Better’ campaign.

“It’s been awesome fun! It’s all been amazing,” Rose says of the experience.

“Do you know how we got chosen? We were in Bourke Street Mall taking the grandchildren out for the day and my husband was sitting on a seat and someone came up and said, ‘Do you want your photo taken?’ At first he was deeply suspicious, but we went and got the photos – and we had the best fun. Then we got chosen to be in the television commercial.”

After a long career in the film industry as a costume designer, Rose said she enjoyed her experience on the other side of the camera – and being back on set for the first time in 15 years.

“There was even a man there doing sound who came up to me afterwards and said ‘Do you remember me?” He said that I’d worked with him 25 years ago and it was his very first job in the industry.

“It’s been a wonderful experience. I’m thoroughly enjoying being a mega star.”

For Rose and Min Chong, caring for their grandchildren keeps them young at heart. Here, the Melbourne couple gives us a peek inside their active and colourful lives.

Recommended reading - Tasty vegetarian recipes

Recipes

Green pasta recipe

Break away from traditional pasta recipes with this green pasta meal with pesto, basil and peas.

Read more
Recipes

No-bake pumpkin pie recipe

Love a no-bake dessert with naturally sweet ingredients? This pumpkin pie is the perfect recipe.

Read more
Recipes

Mushroom ragu pasta recipe

The flavours of garlic and olive oil will win you over in this mushroom ragu pasta recipe.

Read more
Recipes

Corsican pie with courgette flowers recipe

This corsican pie with courgette flowers is sure to impress your dinner guests!

Read more
Recipes

Easy cheesy quiche recipe

Love a dish that makes great leftovers? Try this easy cheesy quiche!

Read more
Recipes

Aubergine with black garlic recipe

For a succulent veggie dish, try aubergine with black garlic

Read more
Recipes

Mexican baked eggy tortilla cups recipe

For a Mexican recipe that's a little different, try baked eggy tortilla cups

Read more
Recipes

Spring quinoa risotto recipe

Full of the goodness of seasonal greens, this dish is a light and flavoursome refresh of a classic.

Read more
Recipes

Spicy Greek bean medley recipe

Fresh cherry tomatoes and a touch of chilli bring a zesty mix of flavours to this spring salad

Read more
Recipes

Kale, feta and pumpkin pie recipe

This nourishing pie is the perfect weeknight trick to have up your sleeve

Read more
Recipes

Shakshuka baked eggs recipe

Breakfast, lunch or dinner, this invigorating, spice-infused dish is a warming feast

Read more
Recipes

Potato and turnip gratin recipe

A creamy, comforting way to savour those wintery root vegetables

Read more
Recipes

Baked Pumpkin, Chickpea and Brown Rice Salad with Crispy Pumpkin Seeds recipe

A comforting winter salad, with an invigorating blend of textures and flavours

Read more
Recipes

Porcini mushroom and kale buckwheat risotto recipe

A creamy, comforting risotto, full of the flavoursome goodness of mushrooms

Read more
Recipes

Vegetarian laksa recipe

Fill up on colourful winter veggies in a light, creamy laksa

Read more
Recipes

Breakfast tacos with chipotle sweet potato and trumpet mushroom recipe

Put a fresh, Mexican-inspired twist on your morning with these colourful tacos from My New Roots

Read more
Recipes

Zucchini and chickpea salad recipe

A filling and flavoursome Turkish-inspired salad by Sevtap Yuce

Read more
Recipes

Beetroot and kale risotto with feta cheese recipe

This risotto dish by Rena Patten is bright with with the super-goodness of kale

Read more
Recipes

Egg, green olive and dukkah salad recipe

Fill up on the rich and tasty flavours of this dish by salad genius Matt Wilkinson.

Read more
Recipes

Pasta with zucchini, basil and lemon sauce recipe

This light, fragrant sauce goes well with thin pasta like spaghetti, angel hair or linguine

Read more
Recipes

Sunflower seed falafel balls with tahini dipping sauce recipe

Savour the goodness of these light, sunflower-and-cashew filled vegetarian bites.

Read more
Community

Vegetable samosas recipe

These tasty, veggie-filled parcels from Stephanie Alexander are always a lunchbox winner.

Read more
Recipes

Spinach, avocado and mushroom stack recipe

Create a deceptively simple feast with this spinach, avocado and mushroom stack recipe.

Read more
Recipes

Veggie fritters recipe

Veggies galore! Try delicious veggie fritters for a meal that can be be prepared in advance.

Read more
Recipes

Coconut and lime cheesecake recipe

Enjoy irresistable no-bake coconut cheesecake with zesty lime.

Read more
Recipes

Coconut quinoa with kale and pesto recipe

Nourish your body with this superfood salad of coconut quinoa, kale and pesto.

Read more
Recipes

Cherry tomato and mozzarella salad recipe

A fresh, Italian salad like this cherry tomato and mozzarella salad is ideal for everyday enjoyment.

Read more
Recipes

Quinoa sushi bowl recipe

Love sushi? Try this unwrapped quinoa sushi bowl recipe for an interesting variation.

Read more
Recipes

Nutrition bowl with beetroot hummus and guacamole recipe

Boost your energy at any time of the day with a fresh, healthy and wholesome nutrition bowl.

Read more
Recipes

Spiced tempeh recipe

Need an interesting vegetarian idea? This spiced tempeh recipe will surprise with its versatility.

Read more
Recipes

Eggplant and sweet potato pizza recipe

For a healthy and interesting take on an old favourite, try this eggplant and sweet potato pizza.

Read more
Recipes

Spicy pumpkin and lentil soup recipe

Spice up your soup ideas this winter with a pumpkin and lentil soup inspired by Indian flavours.

Read more
Recipes

Corn fritters with tangy tomato salsa recipe

These cajun-flavoured corn fritters with tomato salsa will freshen up your weeknight routine.

Read more
Recipes

Zucchini and sweet potato vegetable slice recipe

This zucchini and sweet potato vegetable slice will keep the family happy and well-fed.

Read more
Recipes

Raw mint chocolate mousse recipe

Feel like a healthy dessert? Try this raw chocolate mousse recipe with surprising fruits and herbs.

Read more
Recipes

Sweet potato rice paper rolls recipe

Try this delicious combination of vegies parcelled in rice paper rolls.

Read more
Recipes

Fresh vermicelli salad bowl recipe

Looking for a salad with a difference? Try a salad with vermicelli noodles.

Read more
Recipes

Light pumpkin soup recipe

Looking for a lighter alternative to traditionally creamy pumpkin soup?

Read more
Recipes

Zucchini noodle and coriander salad recipe

Try zucchini noodles with pineapple chilli dressing for a salad with a difference.

Read more
Recipes

Roast veggie medley with chickpeas recipe

Looking for a new vegetarian favourite? Try this roast veggie medley with chickpeas recipe.

Read more
Recipes

Trio of dips recipe

Try this beautiful and fresh homemade trio of dips for an alternative to supermarket dips.

Read more
Recipes

Quinoa sushi hand rolls recipe

A recipe to master the art of sushi at home!

Read more
Recipes

Fennel with goat’s curd recipe

If you're looking for a tasy side or light meal, Maggie Beer has the recipe for you

Read more
Recipes

Pumpkin fritters recipe

These pumpkin fritters are so simple, yet so delicious

Read more
Recipes

Mexican party cups recipe

Brighten up any fiesta with these spice-infused, protein-rich, deliciously flavoursome parcels.

Read more
Recipes

Spring asparagus and egg recipe

Nothing says spring better than fresh, deliciously sautéed greens

Read more
Recipes

Zucchini and avocado fritters with lemon coconut yoghurt recipe

Deliciously fresh and light, these fritters make the perfect brunch

Read more
Recipes

Spiced tofu and beetroot salad recipe

The gluten free, vegan spiced tofu in this dish is packed with intense flavours.

Read more
Recipes

Butternut pumpkin and parsnip soup recipe

A rich and creamy pumpkin soup, infused with a blend of cumin, paprika and chives.

Read more
Recipes

Ultimate roasted vegetables recipe

Roast those root veggies with the perfect infusion of herbs and spices

Read more
Recipes

Mushroom pâté with crispy bread sticks recipe

This pâté is high in fibre, potassium and iron – and it's pretty delicious, too!

Read more
Recipes

Curried cauliflower soup with toasted chickpeas recipe

The nutty goodness of chickpeas takes this creamy soup to delicious new levels

Read more
Recipes

Healthy vegetarian nachos recipe

Lee Holmes of Supercharged Food shares a mouthwatering vegetarian recipe from her new book

Read more
Recipes

Lentil soup recipe

Lentil-based dishes like this red lentil soup are not only delicious but are packed with goodness.

Read more
Recipes

Bruschetta with asparagus and cherry tomatoes recipe

Try this satisfying recipe for rustic Italian bruschetta with asparagus and cherry tomatoes

Read more
Recipes

Vietnamese salad recipe

A fresh, healthy summer salad that’s perfect for lunches.

Read more
Recipes

Tomato, pumpkin and beetroot frittata recipe

Love vegies? Try a tomato, pumpkin and beetroot frittata for a delicious and visually-tempting meal.

Read more
Recipes

Green veggie slice recipe

Zucchini goodness with a nutty twist, perfect served warm or sliced up cool for leftovers.

Read more

For full functionality of this site it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Here are instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your web browser.