Lessons learned from a grandmother

Francisca Meier

Francisca Meier 1991 –

Francisca has been caring for elderly people for years. Looking back, she realizes that it all started with her grandmother:

I learned so much from being with her. Patience and compassion. About handling awkward situations, like filling in for an elderly person when they mishear something in a conversation.

But I think the most important thing I learned is that trying to “manage” an elderly person won’t work. You have to be willing to let them care for you too, to listen to them and learn from their wisdom. It has to be a two-way street. Another grandmother I used to be with would go through these low moments. She’d say, “Who’d want to be with me? Nobody loves me anymore.” Of course, I wanted to tell her that that wasn’t true. But then it had to be genuine; she had to know that I really meant it. She could feel when my heart wasn’t in it.

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