It happens to us all, getting old. As certain as taxes and the need to pee within five minutes of leaving the house, getting old will happen to us all (unless, well god forbid).
My granny is in her eighties and until a year or so ago she was still walking into town, doing her own shopping and, generally speaking, was self sufficient. Despite a double hip replacement thirty odd years ago she was never happier than when she was pottering about at home or in her garden. Whipping up a meal with six vegetables for dinner, a pie (with home made pastry) or a batch of cupcakes, that was GG.
Until she got sciatica. And it floored her. On a couple of occasions literally. Not being able to get out of bed, stuck in a sitting position on the sofa, horizontal in the bath, it really knocked her for six and has meant a complete rethink on her being self sufficient.
The trouble is though, how do you get a lady in her eighties to see that? When in her head she is not in her eighties? When she hates being dependent on people, hates taken medicines as she has never had to, and despises hospitals?
We couldn’t “just arrange stuff”. As much as my mum and I wanted to sort it all out and try and make things better we had to make sure we respected GG’s wishes.
And that wish was to be be pretty much left alone.
Then it dawned on me that we could find a half way in the meantime, maybe a way to make GG see that help was available without it being via social services or meal on wheels. I remembered Care.com being one of the sponsors of a category at Britmums over the summer so I looked them up to see if they might be able to help.
Basically they are a dating agency. Sort of. Well that is how I have now explained it to GG. Somebody wants a job caring for the elderly, or in fact children, or pets and they put up a profile explaining what they can offer. And add details such as whether they can drive, the hours they can work, the amount they charge per hour, how far from a particular postcode they will travel.
And then the person wanting care puts an ad up explaining what they want.
It is so simple, it is genius.
Within a couple of days we had received a number of emails from people who were interested to know more about “Independent elderly lady in need of a bit of support” and we had arranged an interview. We don’t need medical care for GG but somebody who will sit and have a coffee with her, do the crossword, dust a shelf, or help her to wash her hair.
Two days after that we had found somebody perfect. Able to come in for an hour in the evening and do whatever GG wanted her to do. GG was in control and that is crucial for us.
I can’t recommend them highly enough.
If you need help with childcare, special needs or a housekeeper I can really recommend signing up
GG is still in a considerable amount of pain but knowing that somebody will help her do the jobs she is not so able to do anymore is a huge weight off her mind. And it is the same person who visits every day, GG has the reassurance of knowing who is going to come through the door every evening.
And that in turn is a huge weight off ours