Sunday, November 21, 2010

Raising my Grandma long distance

My grandma lives in North Battleford while the rest of us live in other cities and it is difficult to keep tabs on her.  She is still living on her own (now in a smaller apartment thanks to her moving skills) and is still, relatively, with it.  However, she is on her own -- no other family lives nearby but for the good people of the local church who make sure she's doing alright.

Since our Mom died, the bulk of the family contact has landed on Ky's shoulders, while (because of my proximity and meanness) the bulk of the financial and behavioural issues lands on my shoulders.  I don't mind, I love my Grandma, but she is turning out to be rather... difficult.

Grandma is a stubborn woman who has been taking care of others since she could walk.  In her mind, she does for herself and for everyone else and believes she would be a terrible burden if she ever required assistance.  In her mind, she does not need any help, so why would she ask.

Today, I ran into a relative who lives in the suite below Grandma.  He and his wife keeps tabs on her, do repairs, take her places, help her with things, etc.  He also narcs on her to me when she insists on doing things she shouldn't.

Like climbing on the cupboard drawers to reach the top shelf.  Or, walking downtown in the deepest heat of summer.  Or, numerous other things that (apparently) old ladies do to get into trouble.

His concern today was one I've heard before.  Grandma insists on walking to appointments and the mall on her own.  She will not ask for someone to take her as she does not want to be a bother.  However, there are many problems with this: she lives outside of town, has to walk quite a long way, no one knows where she has gone, and the most important...

She is almost 91.

He caught her crossing the field and climbing the barbed wire fence.

In October.

Again.

Now it's my job to call her and yell at her about it.  Not that she will listen to me.

Raising my Grandma long distance is a lot like raising a teenager long distance.  Except that instead of pregnancy scares I have to worry about broken hips.

7 comments:

  1. Teenagers everywhere will be so pleased to know that they are as stubborn as senior citizens; behavior changes are highly improbable.
    Saw Grandma last weekend. She really is amazing.

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  2. Troy is actually Jane - not paying attention

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  4. Yeah, and the stairs at her new placed are not steep enough for her to break her neck, like at the other place.

    Which mall? WalMart or Frontier or Coop? She could of course take a taxi. As if.

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  5. Hey! I tried to comment from my phone yesterday and it didn't work.

    I'll try to remember what I said: Chris thinks that you should tell your Grandma that it is a TERRIBLE burden to you and everyone that's around her whenever she walks to town without telling anyone, or does anything else like that. Also, he thinks you should tell her that by not asking people around her for help, she's denying them an opportunity to minister.

    Yes, he thinks that you should lay guilt trips on your grandma. I think it might work on her.

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  6. Kristin: I knew you would.
    Jane/Troy: I was so confused at first.
    Dad: Walmart and Frontier. She was making the rounds.
    QWP: That is why I love Chris. That just might work!!!

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Crap monkies say "what?"