In today’s world, it’s increasingly common to find grandparents who have assumed responsibility for raising a grandchild or grandchildren. For seniors already on a tight budget, this can stretch resources even thinner and lead to frustration at generational differences. However, raising grandchildren can also provide seniors with a sense of fulfillment that counteracts other stressors on physical and mental health. What are some of the policies and challenges that experts predict will impact grandparents raising grandchildren?
One of the biggest challenges that many grandparents raising grandchildren face is a lack of formal custody. Because most grandparents are informal caregivers, it makes it harder to get the children the healthcare and education that they need. Only 28 states grant grandparents the ability to enroll a child in school, and 8 states still prevent grandparents from making medical decisions on behalf of their grandchildren. Additionally, only 27 states have legislation in place that gives preference to family members like grandparents over placing a child in foster care. Legislators are becoming more aware of problems facing grandparents who are the primary caregivers for their grandchildren and the obstacles they might face.
Raising grandchildren is a hard decision, but many grandparents feel as if they have no choice if otherwise the child might be placed in foster care or a negative situation. Some of the challenges that grandparents face include:
While there are difficulties, there’s also plenty to be excited about. Many grandparents find themselves being more patient and understanding with their grandchildren. They also can draw on their wealth of experience parenting their own children, which might soothe worries that a first-time parent would otherwise have. That same experience can help to reduce the impact of the cons and lead to parenting being an overall positive, rewarding experience. When grandparents are able to receive support, whether financially or through policies, parenting grandchildren can be one of the best experiences of their lives.
Senior Care Lifestyles specializes in connecting seniors with the right in-home care, assisted living, or senior living community to meet their needs. We have helped hundreds of clients and treat each senior as a valued member of our own family deserving our personalized attention, compassion and respect.
For help, or questions please call us at 410-977-3718 or send a message through our website www.seniorcarelifestyles.com.