Every week my sister (Mummy&Moose) and I go and visit our grandpop in his sheltered housing complex. I will put my hand up and admit over the years I haven’t been the best of granddaughters. I rarely visited and when I did I wanted to go home. 8 years ago this year my nan passed away and if I am being honest I still think maybe I haven’t grieved properly for her. She is and was the best person you could ever meet! and thinking of her now whilst I am writing this brings back memories of all the fun we had! My other “grandparents” have pretty much disowned me so it really hits home that my grandpop is all I have when it comes to the grandparent category.
My Grandpop also has Parkinson’s disease. He has tremors in his hands which can cause him to spill drinks. Tasks which should be quite simple are no longer simple. He is such a proud man and really hates having to ask for help. He vacuums, he dusts, makes his bed and tends to his little garden just as much as he did before. It just takes longer and wears him out more.
A few months back we got talking and decided to start visiting him more regularly to not only spend time but to help with his chores. I don’t think he gets many visitors his stepdaughter (my aunt) lives in Australia and they speak regularly on the phone. His daughter, well I don’t know her. My mum (his other stepdaughter) doesn’t drive and they have um an occasion relationship. (Too much history there). So we felt it was important for him to have someone he knew, family come regularly. At a time when he knew to expect us there. We wanted him to know on a particular day at a particular time he would have visitors.
The first few weeks was tough. Both Arthur and Moose (My nephew) were rather shy and Grandpop would become quite fretful. The boys would put their juice cups on the table with out a coaster and he was worried it would mark. Or one of them would drop a little bit of paper on the floor. Over the weeks he became a little more relaxed, the boys became more confident and our time spent together was a little more special. We saw an improvement each week in not only their relationship but our relationship with him.
The past couple of weeks have been the worse. Up until this point all we had done chore wise was the odd vacuum and then pot washing. He asked for help though and wanted us to make his bed. It was the first step to him opening up to us and trusting us I suppose. It can’t be easy for such a proud man to ask for help. We arrived one day and he had not long had a fall. Obviously my sister and I were getting quite concerned. What do we do? What can we do? He was a little shaken but overall okay.
That week he had another fall and rang me. He asked if I could look into getting him a zimmer frame for inside use. His stick was no longer all the sufficient. He had been quoted nearly £70! My sister managed to buy a nearly new one for £10! This week we took it round!
This week we took the frame to him and he was so excited to road test it! It has already made such an improvement to his well being as he is able to manoeuvre between the rooms in his apartment. The next couple of things on our list is to try and get him a more lightweight compact vacuum cleaner so he doesn’t have to lug a great big on around. We would also like to set up some for of 24/7 emergency button care for him so if he was to fall again he can call for help! It his is birthday in a few weeks and we are meeting up with our other siblings and their children for a picnic! We can’t wait!