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Frequently asked questions

On this page you're going to find the most frequently asked questions about Grandpal. If your question isn't answered below, please contact us by emailing contact@grandpal.co

Frequently asked questions for Grandpals

What is Grandpal?

Grandpal is a service that matches community members who have a heart for giving with a local older person who would benefit from having the additional one on one time.

Who becomes a Grandpal?

We welcome Grandpals who are patient, kind, respectful and looking to do something meaningful with their spare time.

We are always looking for new additions to our Grandpal Community.

How do I become a Grandpal?

Taking the first step in becoming a Grandpal is easy! To begin the process, pop over to our website and answer a few brief questions.

You will then be invited to schedule a call with us. We speak to everyone who signs up for Grandpal and use this phone call to explain how Grandpal works and to get to know you!

From there, we will further guide you through the process. Simple!

Is Grandpal a job or is it volunteering?

Grandpal is not a job. Grandpals are individuals who have volunteered to do something impactful with part of their spare time. 
That said, we always want to thank our active community members for their compassion and kindness. We regularly organise opportunities for our community to meet one another in a social setting and share experiences.

What is the Grandpal community?

Since beginning Grandpal, our community of pals has blossomed. We regularly invite our Grandpals to come together in a social setting, encouraging new friendships between local, like-minded people.

The critical role all of our community plays is that of improving the lives of others. Therefore, engaging with this local network can be an enjoyable way to learn from each other and become better Grandpals.

What is a Grandpal Get Together?

Grandpal Get Togethers are part of a regional event series. Grandpal Get Togethers serve as an opportunity to meet other Grandpals and share different activity ideas, stories and experiences over a cup of tea and a chat.

What is a Grandpal Dinner?

At Grandpal, we want to mark every step in your Grandpal journey. 
When Grandpals reach group milestones, we organise a celebratory meal. This is a small gesture to show our appreciation and mark this milestone in your Grandpal Journey. 

Do I have to engage with the Grandpal community?

Do I have to engage with the Grandpal community?
Individuals become Grandpals for different reasons. We understand that for many, these reasons are not social ones. Whilst involvement in the Grandpal community is encouraged, it is of course, not necessary.

What does the vetting process to become a Grandpal consist of?

Grandpal is a credible company and the safety of our community will always be our top priority. After a member of the Grandpal team has had a successful chat with a prospective Grandpal, a meeting is scheduled between them and a partnered nursing home. 

All going well, the Garda Vetting process shall begin right after. This process can take anything from 10 days to three weeks, so we recommend starting as soon as possible.

How often should I visit my partnered Pal and how long should each visit be?


We encourage our Grandpals to visit at least once a week, though this varies from Pal to Pal. 
There is no set duration for Grandpal visits. This is dependent on how the Pal feels that particular day and also how much time a Grandpal can dedicate.

Visiting times are flexible and do not have to take place at/on the same time/day every week. For example in nursing homes, the preferred times are usually after breakfast and before lunch, after lunch and before and after dinner.

I want to become involved with Grandpal, but there are no visiting opportunities near me right now.

Grandpal is constantly expanding and creating new partnerships with nursing homes. 
While we work on partnering with a nursing home near you, we would love to keep you updated on Grandpal via our Facebook page and blog. The moment an easily accessible nursing home partners with us, we will make sure to give you a call!

Where do the visits take place?

Currently, all visits happen within the nursing home premises. Grandpals should not leave the nursing home with their pal unless they are accompanied by a member of the nursing home staff. 
The visits can take place in the social room, the resident's bedroom or even in the nursing home garden, if the resident would like to go for a short walk. 

Do I have to attend training to become a Grandpal?

To become a Grandpal, some high-level training must be completed in the Grandpal app. This training helps you to understand Grandpal and gives you an insight into what your role will consist of.

Areas of training include: Safeguarding for Vulnerable Adults, How to Communicate with someone living with dementia, Understanding your role as a Grandpal.

Any onsite specific training required from a Nursing Home, such as Fire Safety, we ask the Nursing Home to provide.

What is my role as a Grandpal?

A Grandpal's role is to be a companion - to provide conversation, friendship and company.

Grandpals are not medical professionals nor are they a replacement for care or nursing home staff. Instead, they offer invaluable companionship to someone very deserving of a little extra company.

How many Pals would I visit and how will I be matched up with a Pal?

Grandpals are usually only paired with only one Pal, sometimes two if it is in everyone’s best interest. This encourages a friendship to develop between Pal and Grandpal.

This pairing is decided on by the Family Member(s) and/or Nursing Home staff based on the interests and personality of both the Grandpal and the Pal.

How do I schedule my visits?

We’ve made it really easy for you to schedule your visits within the Grandpal web app. Simply go to the Visits tab, click ‘Schedule Visit’ and follow the on-screen instructions.

App is here:
grandpal.co/app

What if I am worried about the wellbeing of my Pal?

Always speak to a member of staff if you are worried about the well-being of your Pal. You will learn more about this during your orientation and in the Safeguarding of Vulnerable Adults modules but in general, if there is anything that comes to mind, always speak to the person in charge.

I want to ask a question which is not covered in this FAQ. 

We are always happy to hear from our Grandpals and love to be kept up to date on their journeys! 
If you have a question which is not covered in this FAQ, don’t hesitate to schedule a call with us
online.

Frequently asked questions for Pals and their family.

What is Grandpal?

Grandpal is a service that helps you connect with a local community member to visit an older loved one when you can't be there yourself. It's all about companionship.

Who are the Grandpals?

Grandpals are individuals in your locality who volunteer to do something meaningful with their spare time.

A natural ability to be patient, kind, understanding and respectful are all qualities which we search for in our Grandpals.

For us, it is a priority that each Grandpal is personable and of a high standard. We value our Grandpal community and prospective Grandpals must be approved by our team and the nursing home staff before admission to the Grandpal Community.

How do I get matched up with a Grandpal?

We understand that family and/or your nursing homes know you very well and understand how you might benefit from the inclusion of a Grandpal in your daily life.

Each Grandpal is matched with a Pal by a family member and/or nursing home staff at the start of the Grandpal process based on the interests and personalities of both, helping a friendship to develop between the two.

How often do these visits take place and how long do they last?

We encourage our Grandpals to visit once a week. There is no set duration of time for Grandpal visits, it is dependent on how the Pal feels that particular day and also how much time each Grandpal feels they can dedicate.

Visiting times tend to be flexible and do not have to take place at the same time every week.

What if I want to stop visits by my Grandpal, or change my Grandpal?

Everybody has a change of mind sometimes. If Grandpal is simply not for you, that is totally fine.
 
However, it’s very normal to be nervous for your first visit or two so we do ask you to give a chance before deciding that you want to stop your Grandpal journey completely.

Are Grandpals medical professionals?

Grandpals are not medical professionals nor are they a replacement for care or nursing home staff. Instead, they offer invaluable companionship to someone very deserving of a little extra company.
 
A Grandpal's role is to provide conversation, friendship and company.

What will my Grandpal and I do during our visits?

What a Grandpal and their Pal choose to do during their visits is entirely up to them, how they feel that particular day and what pastimes they enjoy to do together.

Sometimes, there is nothing better than having a cup of tea and a chat when a Grandpal comes to visit. Other Pals like to go for a short walk around the nursing home garden with their Grandpal or listen to music.

We want each visit to seem like a visit from an old friend. As Grandpals and their Pals get to know each other a little better, the visits tend to become more tailored towards what each Pal enjoys.

Where do the visits take place?

Grandpal visits take place in the residents nursing home. Nursing homes contain a range of locations for visitors and residents to socialise such as the social room, the resident's bedroom or even in the nursing home garden if the Pal would like to go for a short walk.

Currently, all visits happen within the nursing home premises. This ensures familiarity and means nursing home staff are always close by if for whatever reason a visit ends prematurely. Grandpals should not leave the nursing home with their Pal unless they are accompanied by a member of the nursing home staff.

Do I always get visited by the same Grandpal?

Yes. You will always be visiting by the same set of Grandpals. This encourages a natural bond between you and your Grandpal. 

Do Grandpals receive any training before the visits happen?

Yes, the Grandpals are given high-level training in their Grandpal app. These trainings help Grandpals understand what their role is and more importantly what it is not.

Areas of training include: Safeguarding for Vulnerable Adults, How to Communicate with someone living with dementia, Manual Handling and Mobility.

Any onsite specific training required from a Nursing Home, such as Fire Safety, we ask the Nursing Home to provide.

Do my family members also attend these visits?

The aim of Grandpal is to give an older community member a new companion, a friend especially for them. For this reason, generally, we see it as best if the visits are just between the Pal and the Grandpal. Although it makes a lot of sense for a family member to attend for the first few visits to maintain a level of comfort.

What if I have a question about Grandpal which is not touched upon in this FAQ?

We are always happy to hear from our Grandpals and love to be kept updated on their journeys!

If you have a question which is not covered here, just notify a member of staff, a family member of your Grandpal. From there, they can schedule a call with a Grandpal team member online.

Frequently asked questions for nursing homes

What is Grandpal?

Grandpal connects local people who have the spare time with nursing home residents who could benefit from the additional company.

Are the Grandpals Garda Vetted?

Yes, all Grandpals are Garda Vetted with the Nursing Home they are assigned to, just like any other volunteer.

We work with the Grandpals to fill out the NBV-1 Vetting Form before your meeting to speed the process up.

What does the onboarding process look like?

Grandpal looks after the recruitment and screening of the Grandpal volunteers. 
Once we find suitable candidates we share them with the Nursing Home for a ‘second round interview’ to make sure you’re happy with the people we’ve selected.

We work with your Grandpal to fill out the NBV-1 Form to speed up the Garda Vetting process. Once the Garda Vetting is returned, a member of the Nursing Home staff introduces the Grandpal to their resident and gives a little background information to allow for good conversations.

Does Grandpal provide volunteer agreements?

Yes, all necessary volunteering agreements are provided by Grandpal. Signed copies of these can be found on your Grandpal for Nursing Homes dashboard in each of the Grandpals Profiles.

What is the nursing homes duty in the screening process?

Grandpal recruits and screens high-quality volunteers for your Nursing Home. We do ask that the Nursing Home makes some time to interview the Grandpals and run the Garda Vetting when happy.

Do the Grandpals receive training?

Yes, the Grandpals are given high-level training in their Grandpal app. These trainings help them understand what their role is and more importantly is not as a Grandpal. Other areas of training include: Safeguarding for Vulnerable Adults, How to Communicate with someone living with dementia, Manual Handling and Mobility.

Any onsite specific training required from the Nursing Home, such as Fire Safety, we ask the Nursing Home to provide.

Can we see when the visits are happening?

Yes, each of our Grandpals schedules their visits in their Grandpal app. When they schedule a visit, it's saved to your Grandpal for Nursing Homes dashboard under the calendar section.

Do we get an update on how the visits went?

Yes, after each visit, we ask the Grandpals to Log a Visit. Logging a visit takes about 15 seconds and is a small snippet of information to show how the meeting went. This can be copied for your resident's progress reports and is always handy to have on file in case of a random HIQA inspection.

Does Grandpal comply with GDPR?

Yes. Grandpal is in full compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation.

Who are our Grandpals?

Anyone who is friendly, respectful, helpful and kind can become a Grandpal.

Generally, we see a lot of interest from Babyboomers who have recently retired or have grown up families and have the spare time on their hands.

For us, it is a priority that each Grandpal is personable and of a high standard. We value our Grandpal community and prospective Grandpals must first be approved by a Grandpal team member before they meet nursing home staff. 

What do the Grandpals do with the residents in our Nursing Home?

Grandpal is all about companionship. The residents who you think would benefit from an additional one on one time with a local community member are paired up for weekly visits with their Grandpal. We leverage the power of local communities to provide companionship that's personalized, seamless, and most importantly, effective.

Where do the visits take place?

Grandpal visits take place in the residents nursing home. The visits can take place in the social room, the resident's bedroom or even in the nursing home garden if the resident would like to go for a short walk.

Currently, all visits happen within the nursing home premises. Grandpals should not leave the nursing home with their pal unless they are accompanied by a member of the nursing home staff.

How long should each visit be?

While we encourage our Grandpals to visit at least once a week, there is no set time limit for Grandpal visits. This is dependent on how the resident feels that particular day and also how much time the Grandpal feels they can dedicate.

We want each visit to seem like a visit from an old friend and so do not have place residents or Grandpals under time constraints. However, if for whatever reason a members of nursing home staff wish for Grandpals to visit at a particular time/day or cut a visit short, Grandpals will be completely accommodating and flexible.  

Is every visit to be monitored by our staff?

No. After the first visit has taken place, each meeting generally concerns the resident and their Grandpal.

Of course, if the resident is feeling tired or unwell or if the nursing home staff member is concerned for any reason, they are able to intervene.

I want to ask a question which is not covered in this FAQ.

We are always happy to hear from our Grandpal community and partnered nursing homes. If you have a question which is not covered in this FAQ, don’t hesitate to schedule a call with us online.

Get started with Grandpal today!

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