Helping grandchildren understand why grandparents may need live-in care support
Grandparents have a special relationship with their grandchildren. Often, grandchildren can find the concept of live-in care or their grandparents needing care confusing. It can cause them to ask a lot of questions such as “Why does Grandma need help?” or “Why is that lady helping Grandad?”. Children may not understand why their relative needs assistance from someone, who to them is a stranger.
According to statistics by NHS England, 75% of 75 year olds in the UK have more than one long term condition, rising to 82% of 85 year olds. Therefore it’s very likely that a grandparent will wish to seek external help from a professional at some point.
It’s important that grandchildren understand live-in care as this will allow their relationship with their grandparents to flourish. One of the best ways to help them understand live-in care is by getting them involved or by answering any questions that they have. It also provides the grandchild with a great opportunity to learn invaluable skills they can take throughout their life.
At Country Cousins, we’ve put together our answers to some of the questions they may ask to help grandchildren better understand and acknowledge the role a live-in carer plays.
What is a live-in carer and why do they need one?
A live-in carer is someone who, for the length of the care assignment, moves into the home of the client and provides care where it’s needed. Carers are there not to diminish the independence and freedom of the client, but rather encourage it.
It’s important that grandchildren understand that when grandparents hire a carer, they are there to help and can be trusted. When someone seeks help from immediate family, often they can’t dedicate as much time as needed. It can be due to being to much pressure whilst also caring for their own children and living their day to day lives.
Live-in carers can also run simple errands like going to the shop or doing a weekly shop for their grandparents. So, you could explain that to them, mentioning that their grandparent is unable to do the shopping themselves and needs some help from their carer.
Why are my grandparents not in a care home?
Some children may ask why their grandparents are not in a care home. You could add a light-hearted spin on things by telling your children that in a care home they didn’t want to leave their pet, or because they love their own bed too much to sleep elsewhere.
You could also explain to them that their grandparent wants to stay in the comfort of their own home. So, for example, if they are in a care home, they may not be able to follow their own routine or retain their independence. You could also explain that they may not be able to see their grandparents when they want because there is often a schedule with visiting hours.
Why is a stranger coming round to their grandparents’ home?
One thing that can often be confusing, is why, to them, a total stranger is coming round to their grandparents’ house. All you need to do is explain it using a few key points:
- Explain that their grandparents need a professional carer to help them round the house because they struggle with independent living.
- If their grandparent struggles with mobility, you could tell them that the carer is there to help their grandparent move around and do the tasks that they can’t because of their mobility issue.
- You could also explain, for example if they do have a pet like a dog that needs regular exercise, that the carer takes the dog out for walks if their grandparent struggles with walking and moving with ease.
Why does their grandparent want a live-in carer?
There are many reasons why an elderly person may want a live-in carer. If they have lost a partner or a friend, they can become lonely. For example, if one of their grandparents has passed away, you could explain to them that the carer comes round to keep them company when they’re not there almost like a friend popping over.
It may also be that they struggle with household tasks like cooking and cleaning. If that’s the case, you could even get your children involved with the live-in carer if they’re round at the same time to fully understand the role that they play in making your elderly relatives’ life easier and more enjoyable.
It’s important to be open and honest
It’s vital that you’re open and honest with your children as to why their grandparents have a carer so they don’t become confused. They need to understand that it’s still their grandparent, but they just need a little bit of help so they can focus their full attention on them when they go round to their house.
We’re celebrating Good Care Month
With an ageing population and people of all ages requiring both physical and social care support, there is an increasing need for staff in the adult caregiving sector. The Good Care Month celebrates the fantastic work of carers, like our Cousins, paying tribute to the work they do for their communities. It aims to promote adult social care work and show the benefits of a career in adult social care.
If you need any more advice on what the role of a live-in carer is or if you want to enquire about a live-in carer for your elderly relative, then feel free to get in touch and we’ll be more than happy to help. You can contact us today to discuss your options by calling us on 0808 196 0715 to speak directly to one of our advisors.
We want to find you care where you’re happiest, at home.