23 January 2018

Team Mazza 22.01.2018

Team Mazza 22.01.2018

Today I wanted to talk a bit about my lovely Nan. If I manage to get through writing this post without crying I shall be very surprised! I will try my best…

So Marion Hodges, my mum’s mum, is currently at the grand age of 94! and still going strong I might add. She has been moved recently to a care home in Oxfordshire. I try to visit her once or twice a week, working full time it can sometimes be difficult to see her. I like to make the time though. She use to live in a little flat by herself which she loved – independence is her thing. She had a few falls and it was getting difficult to look after her with the help of carers also, so the decision was made a couple of years ago to move her into a care home where she could be looked after full time.

I get the feeling that in this country some of our elderly are not as well cared for as we would like to think. My Nan has lived in two care homes so far and the care has been reasonable. She has her good and bad days like we all do, and for 94 she does extremely well. I think we take independence for granted when we are younger. Myself and my family can just walk out of the care home, get into our cars and speed off. My nan can’t go anywhere. Imagine that? Stripped of your independence in the blink of an eye. I want to be there for her, visiting her and holding her hand. So she knows we are all in this together. We are here for her. The first thought you have for someone you love is the want to protect them from all the evils of this world. (Tears are a-falling already…) I think if anyone has any grandparents or parents in that position all we want for them is the best care going. I believe no matter what the circumstance this is what they should receive. They are still human beings after all!

You hear all sorts of horror stories of care homes that mistreat their residents, thankfully my nan so far has been cared for reasonably well. It has taken a few weeks of adjusting but her new home seems to make her happy. She was even singing the other day which is certainly a good sign. Everyone is very friendly and the atmosphere is much more positive. My mum is really close to my nan, just like I am with my mum. For as long as I can remember it has been a weekly thing where we would meet up as a family at my nans (wherever she may be!) with aunties and sometimes cousins. My nan always loves and appreciates the visits. I think she looks forward to them especially now. My mum will visit her two or three times a week. I love watching them together, holding hands or chatting about the old days. My mum will wash my nans hair every week. I love the care my mum will take shampooing and blow drying nans curly locks. I help in the background passing things to my mum and holding the towel for nan. You can see the love that my mum has for her mum. It is definitely apparent.

Often said by my nan “I do appreciate my girls” her three daughters and all her grandchildren mean everything to her. They have looked after and cared for her for over thirty years now. Nan believes that family and your loved ones are the most important things.

I cried the first time I visited my nan in her new care home. It was a build up of emotions I think. It was like it was her first day of school, she kept asking where all her things were and she was worried about money. Was this her home now, where her room was. We are a family of worriers, clearly, I can see where I get it from! She is an incredibly strong lady that has coped with a lot of heart ache in her life. I do admire and look up to her absolutely, I love the bones of her. I cannot imagine how hard it is for her, to loose her independence and to be put somewhere with people she does not know. I would love to scoop her up and take her away from it all. I think that is why I got so emotional when we went to leave on our first visit to her. We parked her up in her wheelchair next to a lovely lady called Queenie. I hugged and kissed nan goodbye with tears in my eyes. Queenie (who we later discovered is blind in one eye) grabbed my mums arm, we were all a bit emotional! And said “don’t worry we will look after her” those words, that lady has no idea how comforting they were to hear. Since then Queenie and my nan have been inseparable. I visited today and they were laughing and joking together, holding hands, and Queenie kept saying she was glad that they have become friends. It was so lovely and comforting to see.

Getting old is hard. In fact at all stages of your life things can be difficult. Even when you are 94 you are still having to fit in, talk to new people and find yourself as a 94 year old. As long as my nan is happy that is all I can hope for. She sat today with a cup of tea in one hand and a piece of cake in the other (of course), holding her teacup high she said “cheers everybody” to all around her. Something she has always done with whatever beverage she has to hand. Whether it be a cup of tea or a cheeky Baileys back in the day!

If you are reading this I urge you to go and see your grandparents. Life can be very lonely at times. Just to sit with them and hold their hand. To be a comfort to them. It could mean more to them then you will ever know.

As for my nan, I really do believe there is life in her yet.


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