Teen moves in with 89-year-old grandpa to care for him during crisis

Teen moves in with 89-year-old grandpa to care for him during crisis

16-year-old from Ashkelon joined his grandfather when the pandemic began, to keep him from being alone

Jessica Steinberg covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center.

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"לא יכולתי להמשיך בחיי בזמן שסבא שלי נשאר לבדו וזקוק לי":לפני יותר מחודש החליט גל אוחנה בן ה-16 לעצור הכל ולעבור לגור בהתבודדות מוחלטת עם סבא בימי קורונה

פורסם על ידי ‏חדשות הבוקר‏ ב- יום שני, 4 במאי 2020

It’s been tough staying away from beloved grandparents during the coronavirus pandemic, but one Ashkelon teenager did quite the opposite. Gal Ohayon, 16,  moved in with his 89-year-old grandfather, Yaakov Shkory, when COVID-19 first arrived in March.

Ohayon, who was interviewed on several Israeli morning TV shows and featured on many Facebook posts, said that when his grandfather’s caregiver couldn’t stay, he decided to move in.

“I said to myself, ‘I’ll go, I’ll help him pass the time,'” said Ohayon to Avri Gilad and Tali Metz, the anchors of Channel 13’s morning program. “It took me about a minute to decide.”

Ohayon said he’s never spent so much one-on-one time with his grandfather before, but they’ve created a rhythm and schedule during their eight weeks of roommate life.

On Facebook and TV, Ohayon posted photos of his grandfather’s haircut, the vegetarian meals that he cooks for him, of their time spent fooling around on smartphones, posting photos of themselves in goofy positions and moments.

“It’s pure pleasure,” said Shkory, who is hard of hearing and was neatly dressed in a white sweater and kippa, sitting next to his grandson at the kitchen table for their spate of morning talk show interviews. “I really enjoy it.”

Gal Ohayon, 16, right, with his 89-year-old grandfather Yaakov Shkory, who have been spending the coronavirus crisis together (Courtesy Facebook Live screengrab)

Ohayon told the interviewers that he helps his grandfather shower when necessary, throws out the garbage and prepares their meals.

They get up each morning around 8 a.m., have breakfast, and then Ohayon does his online lessons for school. His grandfather rests for part of the afternoon and then they “hang out,” said Ohayon.

“It’s not boring,” said Shkory. “Sometimes we play dominoes,” Ohayon added.

“Sure,” answered his grandfather. “We’re having a good time.”

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