When You Become Your Grandparents Caregiver
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Health and Wellness

When You Become Your Grandparents Caregiver

Enjoying the gifts a grandparent can give.

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When You Become Your Grandparents Caregiver
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Yesterday, I found out that my great aunt had passed away. Now, my Gamall has outlived three of her children and both of her siblings. I see her struggle as she approaches 90 this year. I sense her great loss, despite her efforts to be strong and serene.

This year is creating a great sense of dread for me as I see my family continuing to age and decline in health. It becomes more and more obvious to me as I see our roles switching. I am entering a caregiving role to both my Gamall and Paka. It is becoming hard to accept the consequences of such changes.

I am the only one at this point capable of taking care of my grandparents. It is difficult, and at times frustrating, but ultimately rewarding. I am building many memories with my grandparents that I would not normally have.

Occasionally, Paka will soften my heart when I am particularly annoyed by saying how he does not know what he would do without me or that the only reason that he is still alive is because of me. I am extremely, easily annoyed when I am hot or tired or when my eyes are strained from too much light. All of these occurrences are daily events with Paka.

So, my temper can run pretty short when the heater is set to 80, the TV is extremely loud and every light is on. However, I become begrudgingly softer when Paka becomes emotionally vulnerable to me. I know that he and I are in this together. So, it is significantly easier to handle these challenges.

I have an extremely close relationship to my grandparents, and I know my hardest days coming up will be the days I have to go on without them. Gamall was a critical figure in my childhood as my biological mother was succumbing to stomach cancer. Gamall usually took care of me while my brother and sister were with my Paka and grandma.

After my dad remarried, my life became more stable for a while. My grandparents were stabilizing influences growing up. Losing my grandma was devastating for me. Especially so, due to my bipolarity beginning to manifest stronger than it had before.

As you look at your surviving grandparents, be sure not to take them for granted. A grandparent is such a valuable source of support and love that cannot be easily described. They are happy to offer love and guidance, even if it is not exactly what you want to hear.

The fun thing about that is it is easier to hear criticism from a grandparent than a parent. I am much more likely to be open to suggestions from my Paka or Gamall than I would be to suggestions from my own parents. That makes it much more important for me to have my grandparents to help me navigate the treacherous waters following college graduation.

Our life situations are radically different both now and when they were my age so that can create some friction and misunderstandings, but ultimately is helpful.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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