I never knew my grandma in her prime, but I hear she was a ‘powerhouse.’ This does not surprise me because, even late into her seventies, that woman had energy for days. Her presence was almost impossible to miss, and whenever we sat with her for Ludo and card games, she beat us, hands down!
But as I got older, so did my grandma, and with old age came sickness. I watched her shrink with time and it was hard to believe it was actually the same person. By the time my grandma turned eighty-five, she needed our attention and watchful eyes.
As a family, we tried to negotiate who would pick the bait, but none of my uncles seemed interested. In fact, one of my particularly zealous aunties said that a prophet once warned her about old people in the house because they took all the destinies of the young people around them. Hian.
Anyway, my grandma came to live with us and I am grateful for the time I got to spend with her it her final years. I miss my Grandma till date but I learnt a few lessons from caring for her.
Make It A Family Affair
Everyone living in the house should try to chip in for the special guest. My family tried to plan so that everybody had time to spend with her. Everyone had a task to do so it didn’t feel like the burden of all the work fell to one person.
Take Them Outdoors
It doesn’t really mean out of the house, it could be a stroll around the compound or just out the balcony for a short time. The goal is to make them not feel secluded and a breath of fresh air always accomplishes that.
It can be hard to reason with them when they get worked up so try to soothe them patiently, listen to them and try bringing up fun memories from the past.
Get A Caregiver
If you can, the caregiver should be a professional who relates well with them and can be trusted, getting a caregiver is important if the whole family is busy during the day.
Although caring for old relations is not a favourite chore for anyone, I believe they should be where they can feel love and where they are made happy in those last moments of life.