Hello, I am my grandma’s primary caregiver. I am trying to compile a list of ways to help grandma to give to my relatives. She has 3 remaining children that have taken a very hands off approach and essentially had left her neglected. I have tried to ask for help but they have so many excuses (or feigned ignorances) as to why they can’t do anything. I found a good independent living option for grandma and will be moving her out of my home after a year of her living with me. After a recent interaction with them I realized I don’t want their input when it comes to grandma's living situation and overall care, they just don’t care. However, I do want to provide them ways that they can help but I am looking for some creative ideas. So far all I can think of are subscriptions, baked goods, and larger pieces puzzles, and regular phone calls. Does anyone have any ideas on ways family members can help the elderly big and small, with or without money, near or far?

Have any of these flaky relatives asked what they can do to help? If not, don't waste your time.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to MJ1929

You’re wasting your time with these relatives. They don’t want to help and they may have valid reasons for doing so. It’s admirable that you want to help, but don’t try to impose your values on these people. It won’t work.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to OuterBanks74

Don't waste your time with putting together your own list. Google for a list. Maybe Xmas gifts for seniors living in facilities. No matter how hard you try, you will not be successful in getting your aunties and uncles to do anything. That is their job and they will only do it if they want to.

Good for you getting granny out of your house. I hope for your sake that it is as easy as you think it is going to be. Granny may refuse to leave in which case you will need to evict her. Do you at least have her powers of attorney? Not that they will do you any good unless she has been declared incompetent.
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Reply to gladimhere

I’m not sure if granny has any limits of things she can do?

Since moms stroke and most family being in another state we have had to be creative.

Some have weekly calls on FaceTime and do crosswords or trivia with her.

Her sister and cousin are great at sending cards and letters - they sometimes included pictures or jokes.

Does she like to read or listening to audible books - they could find books she likes or get audible gift cards.

There are many types of puzzles books - journals or writing materials (blank cards - stamps - stickers and pens or markers so she can write to them or even have someone in the facility help her write to others.

Does she craft or even like adult coloring books and supplies.

Does she need supplies or personal care item - smalls baskets done up with her favorite soaps - shampoos - creams/lotions.

Do up small baskets or packages with her favorite treats and snacks that she can have in her room.

If she likes music - get her an Alexa.

Does she need clothing - cozy socks and slippers - robes - pajamas.

Does she like board games - scrabble - cards - bingo game - things she can even use to interact while getting to know others in the IL.

Does she like flowers - they could get her plant to care for or flowering grow kit.

Does she have favorite coffee or teas - personal mini coffee maker - large print digital clock - large print calendars - or cork board to post reminders or card on.

Magazine subscriptions (large print readers digest) - crosswords - etc.

Nowadays - so many people have Amazon accounts - you could put together a “wish list” for her of things you feel she would use/need and they can either order and bring it to her or even have shipped right to her.

Again - I’m unsure if she has any Cognitive issue or what her independence level is - or her financial/personal care needs or even if people are close by and your thinking what they can go do with her or only stuff they can send her?
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Momheal1

Your grandma is lucky to have you. My experience indicates that you can’t make someone care for someone else. Placing your grandma in independent living is a great idea because the facility offers group activities where your grandma can make friends. Hopefully, she is social, but even if she isn’t, she is bound to make a couple of friends and with you visiting her, she will be happy, hopefully. Forget the list and the uncaring relatives. They won’t be coming around for your grandma. I know it hurts, but accept what it is and move forward. Know that you are doing the right thing by showing your love.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Peacefulness
littlelou Nov 15, 2021
Excellent advice.
I'm pretty jaded when it comes to trying to get family to 'help out' in any way other than having them shoot money her way.

I can't say that it has been successfully no matter what I have tried to organize. Sometimes an email or text to remind them of her upcoming birthday or to ask them to PLEASE stop giving her gifts of junk she cannot use (scented candles, tchotchkes that sit and collect dust, MORE hand lotion, etc.

It sounds like a good thing that you are moving grandma to a better living situation. I'd ask the NH what helps THEM the most. Books, puzzles, things that can be used by gma and then put in the 'common area'. My mom has over 100 puzzles and gets 5 new ones each month. She won't part with them, so she has teetering stacks of them all over her apt. Same with books, of which she can no longer follow the plot lines...her Sr Center could really enjoy these.

GA has some great ideas as does Moms Help--you can ASK family all day and night for help, but if they have not been involved to this point, don't expect much help.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Midkid58
RedVanAnnie Nov 14, 2021
Appreciate that some of your non-helpers are at least sending money. Some people just cannot or will not ever be able to offer hands-on help. Use their monetary contributions to hire extra help and to help with household chores or to give yourself breaks.
If they are near, the best thing they can do is Visit every day at different times so the staff knows she gets visited.
The Best Nursing Homes are understaffed and not a pleasant place to live in.
Of course when you tour the place you are told and shown all the things you want to hear and see as you are a Client and they're trying to make a Sale.

Do not leave anything of value as it will disappear.
Put Grandma's Name on EVERYTHING!

For the ones who live out of town, see if you can sit up face time so Grandma can see and talk to them. They should all call Every Day. Maybe one can commit to a Good Morning Call, One to an Afternoon Call and One for the Good Night Call.

Visiting and Calling are the two Best Things one can do.

Always have her room decorated for all the Holidays.

Have a Big Frame with a Collage of all the Family hanging on her wall.

Also have a picture album that she can look through.

The our of towers can have flowers, helium balloons, cards delivered but need to make sure she actually gets them.
As a present, they could pay for her to have her hair done or a manicure or Pedicure, or pay for the intern person to treat her to lunch.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to bevthegreat
caroli1 Nov 15, 2021
Her grandmother is going to independent living, NOT a nursing home!
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As M11929 asks, Have any of them asked how they might help? If not, they obviously do not want to be bothered. They are probably relieved that you have taken on the task.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to RedVanAnnie

I am sorry to say this but some people simply won't or can't do anything special for elders and forcing them is not going to work at all. It is wrong but it is life. If you care for her and are able to, you can find ways to show your love. I think the move is an excellent idea for her to have more activities and people in her life. Don't bother with the family - does not sound like they are worth being in your lives.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Riley2166

If her own children do not even call her now why do you think anything will change? Give up on the relatives. You are the granddaughter! Her children should be attending to her.
My mom only has me and my sister.

She has two sons who are worthless.
Mom,85, does live in her independent apartment in a senior community. She has PT caregivers to help fill in.

My advice to you is do as much as you can online. Get her groceries, meals , meds delivered. Pay her bills online and especially change her rent to auto pay.

I changed my mom's insurance so she could use Visiting Physicians. The primary comes to her apartment each month. Such a huge help.

Try to get some caregivers even if it a few hours a couple of days each week.

Good luck to you and bless you for stepping up.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to InFamilyService

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