The pandemic brought a lot of things to a halt and the team took a hit as we suddenly realised we had lost sight of something that was in plain view - our relationships with our grandads and grandmamas. In an always on world it was easy to get swept up but once we saw what we were missing, we couldn’t sit back and do nothing. Here’s a peek at our list of ways to rekindle your relationships with the aging sweethearts in your life.
With things moving as rapidly as always, changes gripping us before we can really reach for them - the recent pandemic has brought a lot of things to a halt and a lot of things back in focus. With our busy schedules and our always-on virtual world, our relationship with our grandparents had somehow not gotten to call shotgun and taken a backseat - without most of us consciously realising it. The Qurist team had to get together and plot ways to rectify it effectively. Read on to see how to dust off any lost time and reconnect with your grandpapas and grandmamas.
Bring out the aprons
Food is known to bring people together. Most of us, we wager, have grown up following our grandmothers around the kitchen and oohing and wowing as they fed us another plateful of their special recipe, hoping you take one more “last” bite despite the last three. Food is a big part of most cultures and often, has a whole lot of love associated with it. However, as we grow - up and apart - this can also be a beautiful and effective way of reconnecting. The other day while scrolling, we spotted “women belong in the kitchen, men belong in the kitchen - everyone belongs in the kitchen - the kitchen has food” and we couldn’t agree more. If you’re an amateur or if a few disasters have plagued your past, turn to your grandmama or your aging papa for help. Not only would they love to guide you through it but the process could be a wonderful time to bond and reconnect. Oh and of course the end result - we’re sure, would be worth it. If you keep at it and turn it into a fun tradition, who knows how the tables will turn - maybe someday you’ll make the onions cry instead. If you’re on the other side of the spectrum and know your way through the kitchen blindfolded, surprise your grandparents by planning a home cooked meal. If you’re both interested, keep exchanging your thoughts and ideas. Maybe introduce her to youtube channels, netflix series that you closely follow - nani and you can now gush over Babish’s tiny whisk together, or start a little - Secret Family Recipes’ Book - project and be co-conspirators of mastering family dishes. Or maybe even have a bake-off! Food offers multiple avenues to grow and solidify bonds - we suggest you put your cape on backwards and save the day - all from the kitchen (and of course the heart).
Quite often our babyhood is closely associated with listening to or reading stories, especially around bedtime. For a lot of us, this phase that starts from hearing tales huddled with family around grandpa but slowly fizzles out. But the beauty of it all is that we can always go back. A favourite we’ve found among our grandparents has been talking about “the good old days”, having someone listen to them and peep into these stories that they hold dear will be as moving for you as it will be for them. You can go a step further and start off by suggesting that you both partner up in creating a Memory Book. You can tailor it to their personalities, if he’s a writer make sure you encourage him to pen down his life stories, or if she enjoys photographs, why not create a captioned photo album? This also helps in documenting your family’s history. While you’re digging around you might just find out things you never knew about your lineage, things could get really fun. You might also unknowingly find yourself looking at some sound advice that’ll always stay with you.
Help them out
Calling in and checking if your grandparents need anything from the shops can really help. Getting some chores out of the way will free up some extra quality time for both of you. Check in on them from time to time or if you’re already living together make sure you take some time off to really sit down and talk. Offer to accompany them to their appointments, sometimes filling out the forms and the many associated procedures can become troublesome, having you there would really help them out. Mary Fisher once said, “Wine and cheese are ageless companions, like aspirin and aches, or June and moon, or good people and noble ventures." She had us for most of it but we can’t help but feel the urgent need to remove “aspirin and aches” from the list. Try introducing newer remedies to your grandparents. Most elderly people suffer from a concoction, made from a long ingredients list often including insomnia, joint pains, inflammation, anxiety, and chronic pain. CBD offers a host of benefits and provides relief from most of these afflictions. However, since the endocannabinoid system (or the ECS) itself was discovered in the 1990s, it isn’t all that well known to the elderly. Forbes suggests that 51% of seniors who tried CBD found that it improved their quality of life. Try introducing them and making them aware of the options that are available to them which can especially help relieve their pain. However, should you suggest and go for a CBD product make sure you gauge the authenticity, clearly marked ingredients labels, tests carried out to analyse presence of toxic materials, levels of heavy metals and whether there has been a usage of toxic solvents in the CBD extraction process.
Games are a great way to bond. Set up games that you feel both you and your grandparents will enjoy. Board games and puzzles often win in this category, the off-screen time is an added bonus. On the other hand some exercise will always do both parties some good. Try out some fun non-strenuous physical activities/games for a carefree evening. Often the elderly don’t participate too willingly because of chronic pain or a similar affliction. CBD as a transdermal, topical agent or even as an oral oil can prove to be very helpful in this regard. Serious painkillers commonly come with a host of side-effects, CBD instead provides a more natural solution. It even targets neuropathic pain. Whenever in doubt, do consult your doctor.
You can also switch things up and ease them into technology like Facetime, Skype etc. so that you can both have interactive sessions even when you can’t physically visit each other. This will also help them in uplifting feelings of loneliness. You can send them a care-package while you’re at it, maybe add a brain game in it that you can both parallelly solve.
Share your skills
While you show them the way around handling a smartphone or recording stories to play to your niblings or setting up the wifi, take them up on their advice to maybe better your green thumb and turn your bare balcony to a thriving terrace-garden. If you’re both into music, try taking your grandma out for a drive and jam together on the way. Call often and stay connected. Talk to them about any anxiety or stressors that they might have and how you can help them with it. Everyone’s metabolism, tolerances - our bodies in general - are different, prescription medicines could further affect how a new pain management technique works for your body. Pain and anxiety are two of the most common concerns that affect seniors and CBD can provide significant relief from both. CBD is also known to help reinstate some tranquility and pave your way to better sleep. You could try setting up a tea tradition, infused with CBD as required and talk about any unsettling or bothersome thoughts so that you're both set for optimising your Zzz time. If you’re not together, try and keep physical photographs of your grandparents around. This not only helps remind you to check up on them as you cross these everyday but is especially useful if you have any little ones around - it’ll help them not only recognise them but also bring up more conversation that can help you all stay connected.At the end of it all, you might just find a whole new trajectory and bond with the elders in your life. The important bit of it all remains not in the “how” but simply in the fact that you don’t miss out on showing them how much they mean to you and tell them that you love them. Maybe the L word’s too strong for the conversation, you do it all your way - we’re just saying make sure they know.