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Grandparent's Day 2020

Published on 02 October 2020 03:01 PM

This Sunday, 4th October, is National Grandparent’s Day, a special day set aside to mark the wonderful contributions that grandparents make in our society.

Grandparents come in all shapes and sizes; some we see every weekend, some live far away, some are the main guardian and caregiver for their grandchildren, some volunteer in their local community and some, sadly, are no longer with us. This National Grandparent’s Day, our Fundraising Officer, Michelle, wanted to share some treasured memories of her grandparents…

It sounds clichéd, but it really is true that you don’t always know what you’ve got till it’s gone. When you’re a child, time seems to last for infinity. School holidays seem to last for 6 months, term times even longer, and sometimes, that weekly visit on a Saturday to your grandparents’ house where you wind up with 7 of you huddled in a small sitting room in an old terraced house watching the football scores seems to eke on forever, particularly when you’re not overly enamoured with football.

But once you’re an ‘adult’, time accelerates at an alarming speed. The world twists and changes around you and people that, as a child, you assumed would always be there for hugs, advice and stories of times gone by are not anymore. And that’s when you find yourself thinking there’s no place you’d rather be than sitting in that front room with all of your family again, watching the boring old football scores scroll across the TV screen.

I have only the fondest memories of my grandparents, who sadly have all since passed away. Christmas’ spent excitedly playing card games at the table, family lunches on a Friday, and holidays in the caravan with episodes of tipsy singing in the pub and failing deck chairs. When I look back on some of the brightest and indeed, happiest memories that I have – my grandparents are very often part of them.

At 25, I began working for Age UK Norfolk, starting out as an Administrator – managing reception and coordinating our Lasting Power of Attorney service and it was quite an eye opening experience, seeing first hand the breadth of worries, concerns and very real issues that many older people across our entire county were experiencing.

The thing is, as I had grown older, so too had my beloved grandparents; one of whom had already passed away when I was 18. And with age, they were beginning to experience issues of their own.  With Age UK Norfolk’s support, my family were able to deal with a large number of these issues promptly and successfully. We were supported with an Attendance Allowance application (successful), applying for Lasting Power of Attorney and getting aids and adaptions around my grandmother’s home organised.

Later on, when my grandmother became poorly, an Age UK Norfolk adviser at the hospital was on hand to sit with my parents and explain what a lot of the ‘jargon’ they had been hearing meant and help them navigate the by then, inevitable move to a care home for her. Without that support at that time, the situation, which was already difficult and sensitive, would have been all the more bewildering.

I know that myself and my family are very grateful for the help and guidance that we have received over the years and I understand first hand what such support means and as such, I would encourage anybody taking the time to read this to please share with others the good work of Age UK Norfolk, so that we can continue raising awareness and helping more older people in our county.

And thank you; thank you to all of the wonderful grandparents out there busy creating lasting memories with their families right now and thank you to Age UK Norfolk for helping to make Norfolk a great place to grow older.

"When I look back on some of the brightest and indeed, happiest memories that I have – my grandparents are very often part of them."

You can find out more about our Information and Advice services on our website, or contact our team on 0300 500 1217 (Monday-Friday 10am to 4pm) or advice@ageuknorfolk.org.uk.

If you'd like to donate to support Age UK Norfolk's vital services for older people, please visit our Donate Page.