Your Mind & Body: Seniors Raising Grandchildren

Seniors Raising Grandchildren - Generations Magazine - April-May 2013According to the U.S. 2010 Census, there were more than 2.7 million households with grandparents raising their grandchildren … and growing. As grandparents age, raising children can sometimes be challenging. Grandparents need to take care of themselves mentally, physically and spiritually, as it is vital to overall health and to live prosperous lives raising healthy grandchildren.

Grandparents often step in because of the “missing generation” of parents who are unable to care for their own children because of their immaturity, substance abuse, domestic violence, AIDS or death.

How could grandparents adapt to this new role?

  • Get help and support, join a support group.
  • Stay healthy by getting regular check ups.
  • Remember your age. Acknowledge how you feel and your capabilities.
  • Encourage open and honest communication.
  • Don’t neglect the relationship with your spouse.
  • Make it legal, seek advice of an attorney.
  • Find out about public assistance.
  • Take advantage of tax breaks.
  • Start an education fund.
  • Stay positive. Focus on creating a stable environment.

What programs are available in Hawai‘i?

Foster Grandparent Program is a part-time volunteer program that enrolls eligible low income seniors statewide to assist children with special needs. Stipends are provided. 808-832-5167.

Grandparents Support Group at the Queen Lili‘uokalani Children’s Center conducts support groups for grandparents raising grandchildren. 808-235-7613.

Hawai‘i Family Services, Inc. provides information on program services for grandparents providing care to grandchildren. 808-696-3482.

Na Tutu is an advocacy group comprised of grandparents, relatives and organizations concerned with issues facing the caregiving of children.

PATCH provides information on licensed day care centers. 808-839-1988.

Senior Helpline provides information on grandparent support groups, legal services and housing assistance. 808-768-7700.

The Parent Line provides resources for caregivers and children. 808-526-1222.

Tutu Support Group offers emotional support, counseling and information for grandparents caring for children. 808-696-3482.

Tutu and Me is a mobile preschool program targeting Hawaiian communities. 808-524-7633.


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