Grandparenting with Limited Mobility

My grandparents were in their 30s when they had my parents. My parents were also in their 30s when they had me. By the time I was old enough to walk and talk, my grandparents were already older. At the time, all my grandparents were still mobile, but as the years went on, I could see their struggle to walk from the car to the house or around their own home. I’ve seen them transition into using canes and walkers.

It’s interesting, the perspective that each person has of themselves and life as they get older. My dad’s parents still went out for several years to spend time with their friends and even work. They knew that they were getting older, but they hung onto their mobility and independence as much as possible. My mom’s parents preferred to stay at home because of their physical pain, although they made a point to be as independent as possible in the comfort of their own home. One thing that both sets of grandparents had in common as they started to lose their mobility was that they started to feel like they no longer had anything to offer.

They were wrong. There is so much that they have to offer in their later years, as does any grandparent. There are several activities that you can do with your grandchildren whether they are younger or older.

Going Out

Just because you have limited mobility doesn’t mean that you can’t leave the house. Some older folks don’t want to invest in mobility aids, such as mobility scooters or power wheelchairs because of the stereotypes attached to it. They feel as though they’re giving up and accepting their stage of life, as if it’s something negative. What they don’t realize is that mobility aids are tools and resources to regaining independence. Perhaps you can walk short distances, but you struggle when it comes to longer distances. Whether it’s going out to eat or shopping, there are smaller models of power wheelchairs and motorized scooters that are made to be easily transported.

Cooking/Baking

Maybe you prefer being at home but find getting around the house to be more challenging as time goes on. There are benefits to using mobility aids at home. Smaller scooters are built to maneuver tight corners and can quickly get you to where you need to go.

Mobility aids are versatile. Many may think of a specific mobility scooter or power chair when they think of mobility aids. However, there are uniquely built mobility aids that provide additional benefits.

For instance, the Jazzy Air® 2 is an elevating power wheelchair that gives you 12” of added height in just 11 seconds. Not only does it make navigating the home easier, but it allows users to enjoy face-to-face engagement and reach objects on higher surfaces. This can come in handy when reaching for ingredients on higher shelves when cooking or baking with your grandchildren.

Grandfather taking grandson on a stroll through the park while he is riding a Pride Mobility scooter.

Raised Garden

Another activity you can do with your grandchildren is gardening. You can work with a raised garden bed, allowing you to reach and tend to the plants safely and comfortably. Gardening is a great way to bond with your grandchildren while teaching them a useful life skill, and what you grow can be used in your cooking later.

The Most Important Thing You Can Do

As a grandchild, I can tell you that the most important thing you can possibly do for your grandchild is spend time with them. Invest in their lives and interests through conversation if you can’t go anywhere. It doesn’t matter if it’s at home or at a restaurant. Creating memories doesn’t always have to be done outside of the home. There are more ways to show up for someone’s life than just physically. They will understand if you have a difficult time getting around. Love comes in many forms and limited mobility does not equal limited love.

*FDA Class II Medical Device
Pride FDA Class II Medical Devices Are designed to aid individuals with mobility
impairments

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