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Dear Papa…A Young Man Helps His Grandfather with Aging in Place

  • Papa and Christopher

    We have said before at ALC Home Health, that much like it takes a village to raise a child, it takes family and community to care for our seniors. The majority of older adults in the U.S. are wishing to age in their homes.  They want to remain independent, active and involved with the people and hobbies that they love most.  ALC is dedicated to helping make that possible and safe through our quality home health services.  In honor of Father’s Day next weekend, we are pleased to present a sweet story that a college student wrote about his grandfather who is able to age in place, largely because of the loving support received from family.  Happy Father’s Day “Papa” and all of the other wonderful fathers and grandfathers out there!

    Anybody that knows my grandfather understands just how difficult it is to describe the person he is through words. For the past 20 years, Papa has been there for me through the good and bad. If I had a hockey game or needed him for any reason, he was guaranteed to be there for me. In fact, through my 14 years of playing hockey, I can count on two hands the number of times he did not make a game.

    Over the past year I have noticed that I have begun to trade places with Papa; I recognize that I need to be there for him now. At age 79, the things that my grandfather could once do with almost no effort have become day-long chores. Home from school for the summer, I try to take full advantage of the free time that was non-existent to me for the past nine months. But any time Papa needs me, you can guarantee I will be there for him.

    Sure, sometimes I complain when I have to pull his tractor from the creek for the third time because he “was certain he wouldn’t get stuck.”  Who wouldn’t be a little upset? I mean, we’re supposed to learn from our mistakes, right?  But I recognize that by taking the tractor out of the creek, I am allowing my grandfather to continue doing something that he loves, and for that reason, I remain on-call for when the next tractor fiasco takes place.

    If his hard-headedness and unwillingness to take “no” for an answer mean that I get to spend more time with him, and that he in turn is able to remain active while aging in place, well Papa can get that tractor stuck as many times as he wants.

    Family is often recognized as an acronym that can be interpreted “father and mother, I love you.” But my family goes far beyond just my father and mother. If it weren’t for my grandparents, especially my grandfather, or Papa, I would not be the person I have become over the last 20 years, and I cannot thank him enough.