We all know how beneficial one on one time can be. The simple act of talking to another human face to face for a couple of hours can really make all the difference.

Grandpal helps you curate authentic visits and experiences fort our older loved ones. So if you’re a Nursing Home operator or a family member with an older loved one in a Nursing Home, Grandpal can help ensure regular visits to maintain a high level of social stimulation.

Grandpal is an outlet to give. Our network of Grandpals give an hour or so each week to an older person who could really use a visit. Grandpal simply makes that connection happen.

We recruit, train and help retain great local volunteers and connect them to visiting opportunities close to their home.

We’ve added a very simple layer of technology which helps with scheduling and keeping track each visit. Grandpals fill out a quick report after they spend some time with an older person sharing how it went and any other notes they might have.

This is the perfect little snippet of information which can be added to the resident's progress reports. It’s especially useful for HIQA inspections giving the nursing home and family members a digital audit trail of all the wonderful visits that have taken place with each specific resident.

Grandpals make weekly visits with an older person living in a local Nursing Home and in return, build a new social circle with other people in their community. It really is win-win.

Recruitment:

Grandpal uses the power of the internet and the power of word of mouth to find suitable candidates to join our community.

Once we’ve identified and registered the interest of local people, we jump on the phone with them to do the first round of screening. We test for empathy and how caring the person comes across. We dig deep to find the reasons as to why they want to become a Grandpal and what their level of commitment will be. We've coined this the 'Granny Test'. Would I be happy introducing this person to my Granny? If the answer is yes, the candidate is progressed to the next stage.

We’re looking for people who we believe will put a smile on someone's face and will provide great companionship to an older person in need of the company.

Once we’ve identified some suitable candidates, we pass them over to the family member or Nursing Homes for an interview and to be introduced to the older person looking for the company. This meeting is ideally done face to face. Once everyone is happy, vetting can then begin.

Vetting:

Every Grandpal that goes to visit an older person must be vetted. Vetting has been recently digitised by Nursing Homes Ireland which means it’s much faster than it once was. The process now takes between two and three weeks versus up to seven weeks when it was done manually.

Vetting our Pals is a necessary step to be compliant with HIQA’s regulations and to ensure the overall well-being and safety of the residents.

The vetting process:

  1. To be vetted, the Grandpal must fill out a quick form, known as an NBV-1 Form. Grandpal has digitilised this form filling process meaning you can fill it out on your phone, ipad or computer.
  2. This vetting form needs to be accompanied with a Photo ID (passport is best) and a utility bill that shows your current home address.
  3. Once sent off, the candidate will receive an email to confirm the vetting process. Once confirmed, the vetting process begins.
  4. The candidate will receive another email from the Garda Vetting Bureau to confirm some basic information and previous home addresses.

You vetting disclosure will be made available usually after 10 days or so.

Onboarding and Training:

We simplify the process of onboarding local volunteers for Nursing Homes. The value it can have for residents goes far beyond the effort it takes to find and vet them. We’ve now made this whole process even easier for you.

As part of the onboarding and interview process, we provide Nursing Homes with the ‘Grandpal Starter Pack’ and customised checklists to ensure compliance with HIQA’s standards. This starter pack contains:

Pal Information Sheet Garda Vetting Checklist Pal Agreement to be signed Induction checklist Orientation to the environment

We recommend that the Nursing Home holds an orientation session with the Pals to introduce them to your facility and to the residents with whom they will be coming to visit.

After that, we supply some high-level training for each Pal on their phones to give them an understanding of dementia, safeguarding vulnerable adults and more.

Grandpal Visits:

After getting to know the local Grandpals through the interviewing and vetting process, the Nursing Home staff pairs them with suitable residents who would benefit from the additional attention.

Grandpals are then encouraged to pop in and out on a regular basis to visit the residents they have been matched with. They are there to provide companionship for an older neighbour. They engage in meaningful activities that involve the resident so they can have the opportunity to actively socialise and tell their stories.

Our Grandpal community are great at drinking tea and having a chat, reading a newspaper together, playing games and even giving hand massages. Overall, Grandpal activates the resident's sensory memory to provide much needed meaningful social interactions.