Home Instead Senior Care Donegal recognised one of the saddest aspects to cocooning and social distancing for the elderly during this uncertain time was the loneliness and changing relationships between grandparents and their generation Z grandchildren – having to stay apart.
The Home Instead team have created a fun competition called #homeinstead #grandteenchallenge, where the winners will enjoy time sharing experiences with each other when life is back to the new normal. The competition aims to keep grandparents and their teen grandkids connected. Grandparents challenge the teens to learn or take on a task, write a letter, bake a traditional recipe or any challenge they come up with. Teens in turn challenge the elders with recreating the latest tik tok dance, produce a selfie with filters, or a unique challenge they get to make up Or the challenge could just be watching the same movie or tv programme together over Skype, Facetime, both doing the same thing at the same time.
It doesn’t matter what the challenge is, great or small, so long as you all get to spend some quality time together making new memories and having a laugh. Stateside American Restaurant Letterkenny and the Dunlewey Centre, Dunlewey are some of the great local business who have got behind this initiative, sponsoring some fun family experience prizes.
A family day out at the foot of Errigal in Dunlewey Centre with a book of tokens to use on various rides or enjoy a stack of pancakes and a milkshake or burger together in Stateside American Diner Letterkenny.
We asked Rachael Sullivan (16) and her sister Leah (13), both at Loreto Secondary School Letterkenny, how things had changed for them in relation to seeing their grandparents since the coronavirus arrived. Rachael Says, “Due to coronavirus I can no longer visit my grandparents like I usually would on a regular basis. Normally, if I visited Gran and Granda I would spend time at the kitchen table and have a catch up while munching on some biscuits, or sometimes I would spend time with Granda testing his newest gadgets that he had recently ordered. Granda has spent time with me teaching me how to fly drones as well as drawing techniques for art and Gran was able to help me with my learning of Spanish and also tell me many stories about my family history and from her past. I miss being able to do these things with them in person.” Leah is also missing seeing them and says “I miss having chats with them and sitting together, I learn so much form them and we have great fun.”
Their grandparents Marilynn and Brian Flanagan miss meeting up with the girls but are grateful technology allows them to spend virtual time together. They are looking forward to coming up with some unique challenges to set their grandchildren.
With only virtual contact, no hugs and no hanging out together, teens throughout Ireland are missing their 100% COOL grandparents. Both gain so much from the relationships, learning from the elder wisdom and life experiences, while in turn grandparents get to see life through the eyes of a younger generation that can do no wrong in their eyes! The #homeinstead #grandteenchallenge will bridge the gap until everyone can get back to celebrating the value and relationships of families in its many forms and many hugs!
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