Can I have a rant about caring?(5 Posts)
I care for my elderly Grandfather (mid 80s) and I am happy to do so. He's blind and is a bit wobbly on his feet because of it. He's struggling to adapt to old age and the problems that come with it. If I do not visit him he can go weeks without anyone visiting him. He has 4 children. One lives overseas (understandably hard to visit regularly), 1 lives 200miles away and visits every two-three weeks if she doesn't have some important leisure activity to do and two live within a five minute car journey from him. I know they all have their own lives and families but I get so sad and angry that they have put their own father so far down the list of priorities. One of his sons does try to visit once a week but it doesn't take much in the way of something else to do before that gets put off and he doesn't do any cleaning or cooking. I do all the day to day work of taking him shopping, to his many appointments and just keeping him company which he values more than anything else. My partner comes in from work and cooks and cleans for him before we go home to our house and start all over again. My grandfather must be getting sick of the sight of us when he sees no one else. I have my own family and my own health problems so when I'm not taking my grandfather to hospital I'm attending to my own needs and hospital appointments. Fatigue is one of the most disabling symptoms of my autoimmune problem but I have to try to ignore it to help out.
I think it's entirely unreasonable of his own children to make so little an effort. My parent the 200m away one, has tried many times to engage their local siblings to get them more involved but they never do and neither do any of their grown up children, many of whom live nearby - one two streets away! I know when my grandfather dies they'll be first in line to help themselves to possessions and with cap in hand for inheritance and this makes me so angry. I'd rather he gave it all to the charity that has been helping him out - they deserve it so much more. We have been to social services but he told them at assessment it wasn't that bad and that his granddaughter looks after him so they didn't offer the help he really needs like cleaning (he can't see to do it) and just company.
I treasure the time I have with my grandfather and I feel blessed that he shares his stories with me but I also feel so sad that no one is bothering to come and share this. I am so exhausted running about after a reception year child and my grandfather that I feel I no longer have any time for me. I'd hate thinking that in his later life none of his family make any effort. It's breaking his heart & I'm struggling to be civil to them.
There are no questions for this post (unless maybe AIBU?) I just needed to get it out there
I'm afraid I don't have any answers but it sounds like you are being an amazing granddaughter, and I'm sorry the rest of your family are unwilling (or potentially unable, as modern life can be very hectic) to step up to help too.
It does sound exhausting! My idea :
Can you do a one off e-mail including all the relatives? ... Something like... :
First off- Dont ask them - TELL them about visits! Assume their co-operation... They will then have to justify their poor behavior if they choose to do anything else!
Make it upbeat and problem solving...
Dear all, (they know that everyone is receiving letter!)
'As he's getting more frail /Ill /whatever. Grandad/Dad needs more visits from us,.so he can feel part of our family and our lives! He does love seeing you all.
Point out that in the last week /month the only visitors he had was from me. (make it specific-a fact they can't argue with!). As you know I love spending time with Grandad, in fact he must be sick of the sight of me!! As you can all realise, with a small child and distances and my health issues - it's fairly tiring! . So can we all help please? (I'm really worried my health will give out!)
Say: 'It doesn't have to be an all day visit... Dad/grandad would be happy to see you for a cuppa. As there are 7/10/however many of us, if we all committed to a regular weekly/monthly/fortnightly visit - he would not get lonely and he would love to see you and hear about what you've been up to!
Then you attach aa simple timetable with your times pencilled in... I would be amazed if everyone ignored this... As it would be very obvious to others.... And they then can't hide behind... 'I thought someone else was visiting' . They will then KNOW how isolated he is, and how much you are doing!
What have you got to lose??
All I can say is that when the sad day comes you will have no regrets. In my family various members really wish they had done it differently. I knew I had done everything I could and that my family members died knowing how much I loved and cared for them.
Can you not make sure that he has carers (ie professional ones) to come in and help.
It's the children not grand children that should be putting this in place.
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