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To want to "adopt" a grandparent?

(13 Posts)
TammySwansonTwo Thu 05-Oct-17 08:27:22

My dear mum passed away a year before I got pregnant with my twins. My MIL lives two hours drive away but has only visited the boys twice since they were born - makes all the right noises when she's here but don't hear much from her really. My DH doesn't have any contact with his father, and it would be a cold day in hell before mine ever got within a mile of my kids, if he's even still alive. Our siblings are several hours away and have seen them twice and three times, except for one who is nearby but utterly useless and didn't even acknowledge their birthday or respond to the invite to their birthday.

I'm starting to feel really bad for my boys that they don't have more family, or much contact with the family they do have. When I was little we shared a house with my nan and two uncles, then when we moved out my nan took care of us every day while my mum worked. I was extremely close to her and miss her greatly.

At the moment my twins are only 1 so they have no idea but they are at the point where they are starting to recognise people they see more often and are happy to see them.

I know there are schemes that pair up families with older people in the community who don't have much family. I think it would be lovely for the boys to have a relationship with an older person as I believe you learn lots from them, and for an older person to feel like part of a family and be around young children again. The thoughg of older people living alone and not having family around them makes me really sad. However, my husband says it's weird. I get his concerns about random strangers but it's not like I would ever leave the kids alone with this person (I've never left them with anyone but my husband and don't plan to any time soon) and I think it could be good for everyone involved.

Am I just being soppy and ridiculous or is this actually a good thing to do? Has anyone been involved with anything similar and was it a positive experience? There is a day centre opposite our house for elderly and disabled people so I don't know if there's anyone there that could do with befriending maybe? Maybe I am just being daft!

SloeSloeQuickQuickGin Thu 05-Oct-17 08:58:21

Phone the day centre and ask!

Or Age Concern, who run befriending schemes.

TammySwansonTwo Thu 05-Oct-17 09:02:36

Thank you, I will - I felt a bit silly but we are just opposite them and I thought it might be nice for them (although in small doses probably 😂)

ArcheryAnnie Thu 05-Oct-17 09:03:14

I have no idea how it works with people you don't yet know, but one of the most satisfying family relationships my teenage DS has is with a friend of mine who is much older than me, who has been a fixture in my DS's life since he was born, and who formally proposed Adoptive Grandmotherhood to him when he started secondary school. (And she is very far from lonely - has plenty of other grandchildren she has a great relationship with, and a better social life than me - but took to my son, too, and wished to add him to the pack.) My DS describes the other grandchildren as his cousins (he has cousins he has a blood relationship to, too), and it's brought such joy to all our lives.

Good luck, OP, in finding something that works for you. This could be the start of something lovely!

ny20005 Thu 05-Oct-17 09:07:04

There are charities out there, it’s just a matter of finding them

I’m in Scotland & we have mealmakers - all about providing an elderly person with a home cooked meal. In reality, she’s become a good friend & I look forward to our weekly chats. She loves to see my kids too.

Good luck x

icelolly99 Thu 05-Oct-17 09:33:06

Find out if a local care home holds Toddler sessions for the little ones to spend time with the residents. There's one near me that does this ☺

TammySwansonTwo Thu 05-Oct-17 09:58:48

Thanks for the suggestions everyone. Really helpful, I will investigate what's available locally. I am really missing my mum at the moment - she would have been an amazing grandparent and was desperate to be one (told me a few weeks before she died that her aim was to live to see me have a baby and be a grandmother 😢) and although I know the boys won't know any different, it feels like they are definitely going to miss out on having grandparents (MIL, apart from being mostly absent, is the opposite of grandmotherly!). I'd love to make an older person's life happier too, when my nanna eventually ended up in a care home the number of people who never had visitors made me so sad.

Blackbutler86 Thu 05-Oct-17 10:09:35

I work in a care home and there are organised visits for local nursery children to visit the residents, it gives them such a boost. Even the residents who tend to like staying in their rooms come out to see the children and chat to them so I think it's a lovely idea and I would definitely call the place near you

Kitsandkids Thu 05-Oct-17 10:19:18

Where do you stand religion wise? If it's not too against your beliefs i strongly recommend going to church. The congregation of mine is mainly made up of elderly people and they all adore my baby. I'm never short of people who want to hold her after the service.

SunnyCoco Thu 05-Oct-17 11:52:16

Definitely contact the day centre that you live nearby
Might also be worth asking Silver Line if they have any options too
Lots of charities run befriending schemes
Go for it

TalkinBoutWhat Thu 05-Oct-17 12:13:51

Your local church might have a scheme where people help out the elderly. Things like changing light bulbs, helping to put groceries away on shopping delivery day, making the occasional meal etc. Whoever is running it would have a great idea of who the people involved are like.

You could volunteer a bit, meet a few people, and take it from there. You're probably just as likely to befriend another helper who is older, and very active, and who would love to form a friendship.

Catwithglasses Thu 05-Oct-17 13:05:30

There's been a lot of enthusiasm and positive stories around partnerships between care homes and nurseries recently, so sure you could find somewhere willing to matchmake :-)

ArcheryAnnie Thu 05-Oct-17 13:17:49

The one note of caution I would add is that if you establish a relationship with a particular person - rather than with a general group of older women, such as at a care home - then, unless something goes horribly wrong, you need to be reasonably sure that you can keep up your end of the relationship, and not just drift off when you no longer have time, because she's not "family", as that would be really cruel.

I'm not saying you would! But it's something to think of, to make sure what you want and what you can offer over a longer term.

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