Rights and redress
Most of us don't want to do battle at a time when we feel vulnerable or under stress. Conflicts may arise when arranging help or care for an older person during of after an emergency, when everyone involved is stressed. So how to get what you are entitled to without creating extra difficulties?
If you need care, you are generally entitled to a free professional assessment of your needs by your local council, and either a detailed plan for the services it will provide to meet them, or an explanation of why it will not. If the assessment advises moving to a care home, you have the choice whether to follow this advice. If you do decide to move, you have some choice about the home even if the council is helping...
Housing Options for Older People
There are several elderly housing options you may wish to consider if your home is no longer as suitable for you as it once was. Be open to thinking about moving, but also look into services that might help you 'stay put' successfully. Below we provide links to the four main options when considering housing for the elderly.
Staying put and adapting your home
Most older people wish to stay put, and if this is what you want to do, the challenge is to do it well. Much can be done to make most houses or flats easier to use as you get older, and there are reliable home care services to help organise adaptations or repairs to provide suitable housing for the elderly. A bit of help can be arranged, as...
'What's a condom?' 'How do you make a baby?' These sorts of questions can come out of nowhere from our grandchildren, usually when we're out somewhere in public with them. Despite our own years of close acquaintance with the birds and the bees, we might have to take a deep breath and think fast.
Sex education isn't an exact science – any more than bringing up children is. Here we've gathered together some ideas and approaches to give you some ideas about what's appropriate for each age range.
Mostly, though, the message is: Sex education needs to start early, and it's best delivered within the informality of normal family life and with parents and grandparents all thinking about it and working as a team.
Could it be that the 'big...
Help keep your grandchildren safe online by educating yourself about what's there so that you can educate them. Fortunately, there's lots of help on the internet itself – see the websites listed at the end of this article for some of the best.
Do talk to your grandchildren about how they use the internet. If they frequent social networking sites such as MySpace, Bebo or Facebook, it's very important that they understand that people they ‘meet’ online are not always what they seem and that they should never identify themselves by giving out personal information.
By using the parental controls in the operating system of your computer, you can block unsuitable websites, control the type of online games that children can play and even...
Most grandparents operate on instinct, but there are times when we simply don’t know what to do for the best. Something is going on between our grandchildren and their parents and we stand on the sidelines wondering: should we interfere or keep out of it?Big issues and small
It can happen at any age and be due to common, everyday things – sibling rivalry, parental favouritism, when a child’s choice of extra-curricular activity at school doesn’t match their parents’, adolescent hormonal rages – or, more disastrously, when there are signs of drug taking or when children become confused and anxious because their parents aren’t getting on.
In big issues and small, it’s tempting to take sides, but state your own views too firmly and your...
Exercise is vital – but what if the grandchildren move like pale ghosts between bed and computer? Here are clever ways to make sure youngsters get their '60 minutes a day'.
Unfit children are a well-documented problem, but new research has found that youngsters are twice as active on holiday then back at home. As many grandparents are 'in charge' during the holidays it's an ideal time to help children get the exercise habit.
The Government’s Change4Life programme recommends that youngsters do at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. However, a survey for Eurocamp showed only a third of children (36.7%) manage more than the recommended seven hours a week of exercise in their everyday lives.
Get them bouncing...
'Hello grandad!' Two year old Ellie threads her way through the group of elderly people at the day centre, and climbs onto the lap of one man. Her grandad is not able to remember her name, but there can be no doubt that the relationship is strong.
There are estimated to be about 820,000 people with dementia in this country, and it has been defined by the government as a national priority. As almost all of those affected are older people, most of them will be grandparents and perhaps great grandparents.
The relationship between grandparent and grandchild
If a grandparent’s relationship with a grandchild is so often based around sharing memories, what happens when those memories fail? And, how might a child feel when a...
When a grandparent does the childcare because both parents are working, a Family Childcare Agreement can really help iron out problems before they begin. Judith Howells, National Development Officer at the Grandparents' Association has been collecting stories about some of these problems and tells us why she thinks a Family Childcare Agreement is the way forward.
'I have just spoken to yet another grandparent who is looking after a toddler whilst his mum and dad go to work. She is tired, slightly stressed, out of pocket, but more than anything feeling put upon and undervalued, but she doesn’t want to say anything and cause an argument. They collect the child any time within a three hour band, expect him to be fed if the...
There's no legally set minimum age when it's always all right to leave children by themselves. Instead, the law makes it an offence to leave a child alone if doing so puts them at risk. So it's really a judgement call and a difficult one at that: if we get it wrong, we can be prosecuted for neglect.
So what sorts of things should I take into consideration when deciding whether to leave my grandchild alone?
Probably the most important things to consider are:
- the child's age
- the child's maturity and level of understanding
- where the child will be left
- how long the child will be left and how often
- whether other children will be alone with the child.
My two-year-old grandson Simon is a really good...
Carol Murray, the midwife who started the Grandparent School, finds that grandparents want to learn what’s new and improved about nappies, and the latest wisdom on how we look after babies' bottoms. Here are some of the ideas she's been able to pass on.
In my experience, the thing that grandparents notice most about nappies at the Grandparent School is that disposables have improved greatly over the past few years, and that the new, more convenient re-usables are worth considering. Another consideration is the impact of nappies on the environment.
There’s certainly more choice now, but one thing that will never change is the importance of keeping a baby’s bottom comfortable and free from nappy rash.
Here are my tips:
I'd avoid commercial baby products...
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