Grandson Steps Up As Caregiver For 96-Year-Old Grandma So She Doesn’t Get Sent To Nursing Home
Mar 15, 2023 by apost team
A young man in his 20s, who has a life of possibilities ahead of him, chose to put off dating or getting married to become a full-time caregiver for his 96-year-old grandmother. Chris Punsalan, a Filipino digital content creator living in the U.S., has been taking care of his "lola" (grandmother) since 2016 and he has been gaining a following for posting caregiving videos on his Instagram and TikTok.
Punsalan is a musician who creates beats for a living and sells his work on the internet with his social media as his portfolio. However, in 2019, Punsalan uploaded a different kind of video on TikTok that gave his followers a glimpse of the other side of his life as a caregiver for his grandma. The video quickly turned viral with over a million views within 24 hours. It has grown to over 25 million views as of March 2023.
Before migrating to the U.S., Punsalan's grandmother worked as a public school teacher for 20 years and was always a positive influence on her grandson. Though Punsalan had a big family, as seen in his grandmother's 90th birthday celebration, he said he became the primary caregiver because everyone had jobs and other responsibilities to see through. It was also his payback for all of the years that grandma took care of him as a little boy.
His "Day in the Life of a Caregiver" video opened the floodgates, with Punsalan getting heaps of emails and private messages from people who adored his interaction with his grandmother or from folks who are caregivers of family members themselves. The positive reactions convinced him to post more videos with the same theme because, initially, it was also a way to document his time with his grandmother and make memories.
Be sure to reach the end of this article to see the full video :-)
However, Punsalan's videos with his grandmother soon evolved to show caregiving tips and exercise ideas for old people with disabilities. The videos also serve as a way for Punsalan to reach out to people who haven't heard the language they speak in a long time. Punsalan and his grandmother speak Kapampangan, the seventh most popular Filipino dialect spoken by at least 2.8 million people mainly from the Central Luzon province of Pampanga.
"These videos are a way for them to connect with their culture," Punsalan said. "Maybe they don't live with their family anymore or maybe their grandparents have passed and they just haven't heard it in a really long time."
Punsalan is also aware of the criticisms about his viral video as some have questioned why he had to post his "good deed" on the internet. He said that he's been used to documenting his life since he was a kid and even before his grandmother's health deteriorated.
In his interview with ABS-CBN, Punsalan said that he was actually "confused and overwhelmed" by the public's reaction to his viral video. However, the criticisms will not stop him from uploading more content about caregiving because he has young kids sending him messages about how much he has inspired them to take care of their parents or grandparents.
Punsalan said that caregiving for a family member can be isolating and he saw this first-hand when his mother was the full-time caregiver. He admitted that he also struggled in his first few years of stepping up to take care of grandma.
"It is just really hard to see a family member that you grew up with — knowing to be strong and independent — to see them become so dependent on other people."
Not a lot of people can put their life on hold to take care of a family member so how amazing is this grandson for devoting his time to look after his grandmother? It really shows how much he loves her, right? Do you know someone in the same boat? Tell them about this story of a wonderful caregiver!