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.
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. Though of course in either scenario, family and/or nursing home staff can always be at hand if an issue arises.
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. 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.
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.