Becoming a Grandpal FAQs

Resources 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?

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 partnered nursing homes 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!

If you’d like to start a Grandpal campaign in your local town, please click here.

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, Manual Handling and Mobility

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

What is my role are 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.

Are the visits supervised?

Grandpal visits are exclusively between a Grandpal and a Pal. Whilst you won't have someone looking over your shoulder during visits, there will always be a member of nursing home staff close by if needed.

What if I change my mind and want to stop becoming a Grandpal?

Everybody has a change of mind sometimes. If Grandpal is simply not for you, that is totally fine.

However, it is very normal to be nervous for your first visit or two. We would ask you to give Grandpal a chance before deciding that you want to stop completely.

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.

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.

Bringing families together

The Grandpal app helps families like yours focus on the well-being of an older loved one, giving transparency and clarity to the mix so that your family is as effective a team as possible

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