Gransnet forums


Grandparents with disabilities

(12 Posts)
Nell Wed 07-Sep-11 17:13:21

Hi everyone. This is the first time I've ever done anything like this, but here goes. I'm an expectant gran. My only daughter is having her first child in December. She is based quite far away from me, although we are in daily contact and she visits regularly. Because of my physical limitations I can't attend the birth, but I want to be as involved as possible with the baby when he arrives (we know it's going to be a boy) and when he visits. I'm knitting for Britain, but apart from that (a) does anyone have any suggestions how I can do this? (b) does anyone have any experiences to share?

jangly Wed 07-Sep-11 17:56:44

Its hard to say without knowing exactly what your physical limitations are.

When your daughter visits with your grandson, will you be able to help with dressing, changing, and bathing? If not, you will still be able to do the most important thing - cuddling! smile

And talking to him in the way that grannies do.

You could get your own set of baby things in ready, such as bath, changing mat, highchair.

Nell Wed 07-Sep-11 23:01:05

Thanks jangly - this puts things more in perspective

Heather Thu 08-Sep-11 15:32:27

Nell, firstly congratulations, exciting isn't it? !!

I am also unable to do everything I would wish. Whilst my daughter was expecting we had no idea how or what I would manage. However, it has somehow worked itself out ...

I couldn't carry the baby about but I was excellent at 'burping' (in fact my left shoulder is 'the magic shoulder'!!!)

I couldn't lean over the bath - or even support baby in the baby bath on the table - but I gave an excellent cuddle to swadled baby whilst Mummy dried her own hands etc before dressing her.

etc., etc., ...

even now I don't race around a play ground with my grand-daughter but I can and do manage crafting / baking activities and I read great bedtime stories with all the different voices!

etc., etc.,

So, basically, my advice is don't worry too much about what you may be UNable to do. Time will sort out for you all the exciting things which you WILL be able to do and you will love every minute!

greenmossgiel Thu 08-Sep-11 19:31:21

Nell, congratulations! I'm sure everything will fall into place when the little lad arrives. He'll be bringing all that love with him, and you've got so much to give to him back. Being able to sing to him and perhaps rock his pram handle while his mum is making up his bottle is a very necessary part of being a grandma. Enjoy yourself! smile

trishs Tue 24-Jul-12 01:45:50

I'm reviving this post because I've just found it smile I'm wondering how Nell is getting on?

I'm in a similar situation, with an 18 month old grandson and his new baby sister. Fortunately I have a fairly fit and healthy husband so we can share the looking after between us, ie. he does all the running about and lifting and changing. It's funny how quickly kids learn and accept who can do what. My little grandson is quite used to the fact that I tend to stay in one place (on the settee) when the rest of the household may be busy elsewhere. Every so often he comes to check on me and brings me a toy to play with. We have different toys that we play with together such as jigsaws and drawing whilst my husband does the more active play. I can't even lift the baby now, she is just too heavy, but we exchange wonderful smiles even if I'm not often in direct contact, until she is old enough to walk.

trishs Tue 24-Jul-12 01:51:50

Rather than start a new post, since this one has a suitable title, can I ask if there are any other grans with physical disabilities, or do any of you perhaps act as carers for any relatives ?

goldengirl Tue 24-Jul-12 08:14:16

I used to act as a long distance carer for my mother. I lived 200 miles from her and she - understandably - wouldn't move, so I organised care packages and dealt with everything from my home. I was just getting over a vicious hospital bug at the time which left me with a permanent medical condition. I did have contact with my mum's young friend who kept me informed but I tried not to involve her too much because I didn't think it was fair. I did find it very stressful on occasion because I didn't know what was available and noone would tell me unless I knew what I wanted! It drove me mad on occasion and the DWP at the time and the bank were most unhelpful even though I had power of attorney. In the end I wrote a book of suggestions to help others - just to try and make something positive out of a negative situation and to keep my sanity!

trishs Tue 24-Jul-12 12:34:03

Goldengirl, that's really interesting, thanks. Is the book available anywhere? I also was a carer for my mum for many years and know about the difficulties you mention!

One of the reasons I was asking this question echoes your experience. I live with a disease that seriously effects my mobility and last year started a blog for the very same reasons you describe, to help others etc. smile But from recent reading of posts the majority of active members here seem relatively fit and healthy so no point in me going on about access issues etc. and boring them all to death smile

jeni Tue 24-Jul-12 12:53:15

I'm the same! Ihave mobility problems! Don't get me started on access issues, I could rant on for ever!

Libradi Tue 24-Jul-12 14:00:06

I have problems with my balance (I was born with a mild form of Spinabifida) but manage to look after my two grandaughters (6 yr and 7 month old) around the home on my own. I'm nervous about taking them out nowadays on my own especially as my DD has a 3 wheeler buggy this time around and I don't feel safe pushing it up and down pavements so I only take them out if someone is with me.

Spend a lot of time pushing my DGD around the supermarket in a trolley though, plenty of support there smile

trishs Tue 24-Jul-12 16:11:56

Jeni, yes, I guess we are all too familiar with access issues but given that they do currently exist I'm interested in finding practical ways of solving them. I've had to do this over the past couple of years, or wave goodbye completely to my current social life.

And Libradi, supermarket trolleys are wonderful. That's the best quality walking I get these days, safely trundling behind one of the lightweight trolleys. I don't think I could manage a child-filled one!