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22-Year-Old Grandson Refused To Put His Grandma In A Home & Became Her Primary Caregiver Instead

Photo: DragonImages / Canva Pro
elderly woman smiling

At 22 years old, Chris Punsalan, a recent college graduate, had the world at his feet. In a reflection of the duality of life, however, his beloved 90-year-old grandmother, Anicia, was facing a very different future.

With living alone becoming more difficult, a nursing home or a full-time caregiver was becoming a stark reality. Punsalan, unhappy with both options, decided to take on the responsibility of looking after his grandmother instead, and it was a decision that changed both of their lives for the better.

After Punsalan graduated from college, he took on the role of caregiver for his grandmother.

During his last semester of college, Punsalan had no job lined up after graduation and he was not sure what path he wanted to pursue. Around the same time, Anicia was having trouble getting out of bed.

That was when the family realized they would either have to hire a full-time caregiver for her or place her in assisted living.

   

   

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Punsalan held his relationship with his grandmother dear and didn't want her taken away from the family or have a non-family member living in her home providing her mediocre care. So, he decided to take on the role.

Punsalan started posting photos featuring life with his grandmother, and the two have become social media celebrities.

Anicia suffers from severe arthritis and osteoporosis, which means she relies on Punsalan and a wheelchair for mobility, but after eight years, the grandma and grandson duo have their routine down pat.

It's no wonder the two are so popular on TikTok because watching them interact with such love and care is more than heartwarming, it's inspiring.

   

   

Obviously, being a caregiver is a lot of work, but it's an integral part of many culture's family dynamics.

It's well-documented that a key factor in longevity is remaining independent into your golden years. For many, that means living near or with family members who can offer support and assistance. 

   

   

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Punsalan's intent with his videos is to offer a positive glimpse at life, not only as a caregiver for a family member but also the beauty in keeping the extended family intact.

Punsalan said taking care of his grandmother was the best decision he ever made.

It is very clear from his videos that Punsalan is happy with his choice to care for his grandmother and he's not alone. It's estimated that 29% of caregivers in the United States are family members. And with the popularity of documentaries like "Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones," that number is likely to grow.

Due to the amount of support given to their TikTok page, Punsalan and Anicia created their own small business together called Chooseday. With her accent, Anicia pronounces "Tuesday" as "Chooseday," so they decided it would be a great name for their collectable pins business. 

   

   

Although it is hard to see a loved one struggle, being a family member's caregiver is worth it. Statistics have shown that having aging or elderly family members living in the home not only increases their lifespan but improves the health of children in the home as well.

Most importantly, however, it creates loving memories and traditions.

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Lauren Reams is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news.