Anthea O'Neill and her grandmother

Making time for your elderly Grandparents

As we get older, making time for our grandparents drops very low on the priority list. Our lives are busy and full and we forget that our grandparents anticipate visits and phone calls from us more than anything in the world!


My beloved Grandmother

I call my grandmother, “Ma”. Ma is eighty years old and lives in a seaside town in a retirement village. For the first time in her life she has her own little apartment and is surrounded by her friends.

Along with the other elderly residents of her retirement village, they have many activities in the community center to occupy their time. They also have outings arranged by the church where they visit other old age homes and go on social excursions. On off days they travel by train exploring other parts of the city as pensioners are able to travel for free by train every Thursday.


I have been making more of an effort lately with phone calls and occasional visits whenever I can get to her because I realize that at eighty years old, my time with her is precious.  My children love visiting my Ma and she dotes on them just as she did on me. I was especially spoiled as the first grandchild in her family and still the only granddaughter!

We take care to dress nicely when we visit my Ma. She parades us around her community center and proudly introduces me to every person we pass as “her beautiful made-for-TV granddaughter”. She embellishes all my accomplishments and boasts to her friends of how I also naturally produced two “beautiful great-grandchildren”!

I would recommend visiting a grandparent for anyone who suffers from a low self-esteem. Seeing yourself through their eyes is definitely a boost of confidence!

My Ma has loads of family photos on the walls of her apartment and on every available surface. On my last visit her best friend, Lucy who is her next door neighbor invited me inside her place to show me her latest knitting project and I was awed when I saw that almost every floor to ceiling surface of her apartment was covered with family photos as well.

We forget that what our grandparents treasure the most are their memories and seeing how the family has grown out under them.

My grandmother's photos of me
This is a framed portrait of me on my Granny’s bedside table


On my Granny’s wall: A photo of my son, my mom and me as a child at the bottom

Taking my young children to visit my Ma is also a novel experience. It seems as though all the seniors have a secret stash of sweets and treats that they keep just in case of any little children visiting! The elderly folk love having children around.

My daughter always refers to the time we visited my Ma many months ago when she showed Alexandra a little tiny pan she’d been gifted that fried a single egg in a flower shape. Alexandra talked about this pan so much that on our last visit, my Ma gave her a box with the little pan in it and a half a dozen of eggs! Grandparents really do spoil in such a unique way!

Make time for your grandparents

If you are lucky enough to still have your grandparents around, I’d definitely recommend calling them and visiting them more often. Time is precious and they do deserve our time!

A Granny’s love is always consistent. Other than your children, it’s one of the few relationships in your life that will never change. It’s unconditional love.

My grandmother and I

How often do you get to see your grandparents? Do you have the same experiences with yours?



Anthea O'Neill is a wife and proud mom of three. She is front-end web developer, blogger and a self-proclaimed glitter & yarn addict. Anthea's Project Life is a blog for the modern mom.

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  1. Pamela says:

    I had an amazing grandmother who died at the age of 91. She was always so proud of us. What I remember most of all was the biscuit tin of sweets that never ever grew empty and as we ourselves had kids we would still expect a sweety although we are all grown up. Now I am a grandmother myself. What spinning wheel life is

  2. Unfortunately i’m estranged from my family and my wife lost her parents at a toung age, we are however building a family which has a togetherness that will last long after we have gone, I think it will be sometime before we have grandchildren but when we do, we will be the grandparents that you describe

  3. So very true! Thanks for a great read a a reminder of the important things in life. There is so much to be gained when different generations come and grow together. It is priceless.

  4. I have very fond memories of my nannan (grandmother) She dies just four weeks after my wedding day and it was the last time I saw her, Sadly she didn’t recognise me and the last thing she said to me was I looked beautiful – She didn’t know me but she wished me a long and happy marriage. I have indeed had and still have a long and happy marriage and still talk about her to my children and with my siblings.

    1. Aw sweet, it’s great that you have that memory to treasure.

  5. Michele says:

    Unfortunately all of my grandparents have passed, but I see how important it is for my grown children to visit their grandparents (my husband’s mother and my mother). I keep both of them well-stocked with photos, since that’s one of my hobbies! I was raised by my maternal grandmother, and i cherish all of the moments I had with her.

    1. That’s wonderful that you are encouraging your children to stay close with their grandparents, Michele!

  6. Important words and so easily forgotten in those hectic days until suddenly it becomes too late. Thanks for sharing your grandma with us.

    1. So true, we only have a short time with them.

  7. I live in the same town as my grandparents and spend a lot of time with them, whether it’s in-person or over the phone for a quick chat about something I just had to share with them, or vice versa. A close relationship with your grandparents is incredibly worthwhile and I’m glad I have the chance to have one. Looks like your grandparents love you!

    1. That’s really awesome Eli! I’m sure it makes them feel so special to have such a close relationship with you!

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