Handling Your Health Issues While Raising Your Grandchild(ren)

I know, I know, as much as none of us WANT to admit that we are getting older, the truth heart-718085-m (1)is we ARE.  Even though in our minds we still feel so young, our bodies are NOT so young anymore and we tend to develop some health issues as we get older.  Also, there are unexpected health problems that can pop up at any time (always such a pleasure!).  Of course, both existing and unexpected health issues can happen to anyone at anytime and at any age, but us “parenting” grandparents are more likely be dealing with these issues on an everyday basis.  Plus we are raising a child or children again….

Existing Health Issues 

If you’re like me, then you probably find that your existing health issues are a bit easier to handle than the unexpected “SURPRISE, I GOTCHA!” ones.

Maybe you have high blood pressure like me, rheumatoid arthritis like my little granddaughter’s other grandmom (yes, I am full of surprises here! My granddaughter will be introduced on my site soon!) , a heart problem, or one of many other health problems.

Since you are used to living with your very own unique health issues every day they come to be a part of your life that you just accept.  Sure, it can be very difficult at times to function with some of these problems, especially while raising a granchild, but for the most part we can figure out ways to work around these limitations.  In my case I take blood pressure medication every day (not hard at all, I am lucky!).

Then one day along comes an UNEXPECTED health issue….

Coping with Unexpected Health Issues 

These unexpected little surprises in the health department come at the most inconvenient times (as if they are EVER convenient!).  Fortunately there ARE ways to cope.

So, let’s say you find out you need to have surgery.  Not a fun thing to have to go through, but if you have a choice of dates try hard not to pick the soonest.  Give yourself some time to get it all together at home, very important, this will make your life after surgery so much easier.

Here’s what I did prior to my very recent surgery:

  • Organize things the best you can (paperwork, bills, any special items you will need, any help you will need with your grandchild(ren) such as getting to school, sleepovers with friends, etc.)  Also figure out who is willing to help you with meals and other things as needed.
  • Discuss with your grandchild(ren) that you will need their help, that they will need to pick up after themselves, also rules for playing outside, having friends over or not, and anything else that will affect their lives while you’re recovering.  Kids could also help with doing dishes, taking out trash, small cleaning chores, and also by providing their awesome company! This of course is age appropriate, my grandson is 8 so that’s what I did.  There’s no need to go into all the details with them, especially if they are young, but you will find that they love you and they WANT to help.
  • Clean the house, preferably the day before your procedure.  This way it will be done clean-home-2-1193877-mwhen you get home and you won’t have to worry about it.  This also includes laundry and changing the sheets. Everything! (I am one of those people who when I am told I am not allowed to do something it suddenly becomes so important that I get it done.  So this one helped me a lot! Please note though that this is also exhausting!)
  • Food Shopping should be done the day before also.  When shopping remember that frozen food is your friend!  You could also make a few meals in a crockpot and freeze for a healthier option.  Make things as easy as possible for yourself while you heal.  Also don’t forget to get the kids some special treats (aka bribes, just kidding – maybe!)
  • Set up everything you will need so it will be right near you, that way you will have what you need by your side and can rest and heal.  I plugged in all chargers I would need into a power strip.  You know, for cell phone, blue-tooth headseat, tablet, etc. I also put a coaster on my nightstand and made sure the tv remotes were there.

As far as any kind of accident that happens suddenly, such as when I broke my ankle in two places after cleaning the hardwood floors (my grandson was 5 at the time)…..

The best thing to do is just go with the flow.  Forget the mess, it will be there when you IMG_0174recover. And always, always remember that your grandchild(ren), big or small, WANT you to be okay and WANT to help!  They will amaze you with their love and helpfulness!

If you have any additional suggestions for coping with health issues please comment.

As always I would love to hear from you!

Lori

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    8 Comments to Handling Your Health Issues While Raising Your Grandchild(ren)

    1. Scott Beattie says:

      Nice article. I know of a woman who raised three of her grandchildren but FULL TIME.. Her daughter simply gave up on raising children and handed them over to Grandmother. Is this wise?

      • Lori says:

        Thank you Scott! I’ve been raising my grandson full time since he was an infant, and while I wasn’t quite expecting that it has been best for him. It’s sad when a parent, especially your own child, is unable or even unwilling to raise their own children. The grandparent needs to have a ton of love in her heart for the children and also be willing to raise them without resenting the situation. As for the daughter simply giving up, that is irresponsible and the children are much better off with a loving grandmother.

    2. steve says:

      I really enjoy reading your posts Lori and this one was great! As you know, I have three daughters myself and although not a Grandparent (yet!) I find this is really helpful and sound advice. Thank you!

      • Lori says:

        Thank you Steve, I’m happy you enjoyed the post! When you eventually become a grandparent you will be an awesome grandfather! Lori

    3. RDub says:

      I have had a little experience with Grams raising grandbchillen. My mom was stuck with raising kids from both of my sisters at one time or another.

      Health issues are all the more important for a grandmother than a mother due to the age difference. Although there are some mothers out there who are old enough to be grandmothers. But still the issue remains. Especially when the grandmother is a single grandmother and the sole breadwinner.

      It is all the more important for Grams to keep herself in good health in this case. If Grams falls ill and loses her income… it can be devastating.

      Great website! I love it! -RDub

      • Lori says:

        Hello RDub! You’re mother sounds like a wonderful grandmother to have raised her grandchildren even in an on and off situation. Yes, health issues are important and when a grandparent starts raising a grandchild the worry sets in about “oh no, I hope I have no health issues!”. I’ve never worried too much about the health stuff until I had a baby grandson to take care of. All of a sudden it was soooo important to make sure to stay healthy. Losing income sure does add even more to the stress factor. But most grandmom’s are stronger than people realize! Lori

    4. Cathy says:

      My grandma raised almost 10-15 grandchildren at different time during her granny-hood. She was a tough lady and kept her sickness to herself. She spanked us at the butt and cursed if we misbehaved. But she did the very best she could; she fed us like piglets. And we grew up just fine.

      • Lori says:

        Hi Cathy,

        What a wonderful grandma to have raised all of those grandchildren, even if at different times. Thank goodness for her that it wasn’t all at the same time! I’m happy to know you grew up just fine (I am always afraid I will do something wrong,lol!), and that your grandma did the best she could, which is all any of us can really do! Thank you for your comment showing the perspective of a grandchild being raised by grandma. Lori

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