Making your grandparents feel happier and more included: from spending time with them, keeping them company, doing things they like & making recurring plans.
Aging is hard on everyone, especially when it’s your grandparents. Family is something very special and should be treasured, even when members get old and start to have difficulty participating in activities they were once good at. They are a really important part of the family structure because if it wasn’t for them, none of you would be here. It is important that you show them respect. It can be as simple as just making an effort to see them, speak to them, or do something that they like. Here are a few things you can do to make your grandparents feel happier and more included.
Spend Time With Them
It is important that you know what your grandparents are able to do. With age comes limitations, but there are plenty of ways around it. It is important to be realistic and to plan activities that are doable. If your grandparents enjoy walking but struggle to walk long distances, take them on an easy walk somewhere beautiful. If either of them has walking aids, be sure that there is a path around for them to use. Remember to be patient with them, as they will tire sooner than you and will need frequent rests.
For the times you can’t spend time with them, a very popular practice right now is home care. This can be in the companion capacity, or as a nurse if need be. If you need more information about this, here is a link to their website. This affords them dignity and makes it easier for them to stay healthy. This also makes it much easier for them to be mobile and independent of you and the rest of the family.
Do Things They Want to Do
A great thing to do is to plan a day around activities you know your grandparents enjoy doing. This doesn’t need to be an expensive day out. There are a bunch of things you can do at home, or for really cheap. You could cook or bake something together, make something crafty, play some games, learn a new skill that they have, visit a local art gallery, or simply just sit and talk about life and memories. The options are endless.
It is important that you arrive on the correct day and on time. If you cancel or are late, they will feel disappointed, unhappy, and as if they are not important enough to be included at the forefront of your life. If you are going to be running late, it is important that you call and let them know that you are running late, why you’re running late and when to expect you. If you need to cancel completely, let them know as soon as you know. Last-minute plan changes are a real letdown.
Make Recurring Plans
This is a great way to show your grandparents that you love and appreciate them enough that you want to spend time with them again. While you’re still together, you can brainstorm your plans for the next visit. This creates a sense of excitement and something for everyone to look forward to, especially them.
Visit Them in Person (Whenever You Can)
If you don’t live too far away from them, it is good to decide on how often you can and should be visiting them realistically. If you are still in school, try to commit to at the very least once a week. If you don’t live close to them, make an effort to visit them whenever you come into town.
Call Them When You Can
This is always an excellent suggestion. Whether you live near, or far, giving your grandparents a call on a weekly basis will lift their spirits and make them feel included in your life. When I was in university, I would call my gran for the last half hour of my commute back to varsity after going home for the weekend. It was a great way to keep her up to date with what was going on with me, and to keep me up to date with what was going on with her.
As it was almost always at the same time, I knew she would be free. Make sure to schedule a time so that you can be sure to catch them.
Teach Them How to Video Call
If your grandparents are a little more tech-savvy, they might be keen to learn about video calling. A great way to sell this idea is to tell them about how wonderful it is to see each other’s faces when you talk, especially if you live far away. It makes for a far more intimate conversation and is like visiting without actually being there.
We hope that you will try out some of these suggestions with your loved ones.