My grandma was in her late 80’s and my mom had left for her annual vacation….as usual I told my mom I would check in on Gram while she was gone. My mom was Grams source of transportation and had been since grandpa passed away many years ago, Gram never drove. I almost always visited on the weekends and Gram was really enjoying my mid-week visits while mom was on vacation. Since I was spending more time with Gram I got a chance to snoop around a little more than usual……as granddaughters sometimes do. Once I really looked around….. I noticed her house was more untidy than I remembered and I found several unpaid bills.
Gram was always good with her finances. Keeping her checkbook balanced, always having to have a certain amount of money in the bank or she thought she was broke. She’d been the treasurer at our church for some forty years. She’d been an Avon lady for some twenty years….. although looking back now my mom and I had been helping her fill out her merchandise order forms for a few years prior. But I thought that had more to do with her visual decline due to macular degeneration.
When my mom returned home from her vacation I told her about the unpaid bills, things being stuffed in strange places and boxes and boxes of just papers and papers and more papers. At that point, we decided it was time for Gram to have some additional help from us. The more time we spent with her, the more we realized her abilities to care for herself were declining. Gram had been living by herself for over sixteen years now so she welcomed the added attention from her family.
My mom had been asking for some time now for Gram to let her have access to her checking account. Gram had agreed to have my mom’s name added to the account and the checks but prior to this Gram would not allow her to do anything with it. Although Gram enjoyed us making her food and doing her laundry she was very resistant to relinquish any control of her checkbook.
Our Care Giving Journey
Thus began our caregiving journey with Gram….. none of which I would trade for anything. I’ve asked my family and other caregivers to share the stories of their time spent with Gram. I’m looking forward to sharing the laughter and the tears with all of you.