Did you know that National Grandparents’ Day is on Sunday, September 13th? Grandparents play such a vital role in their grandchildren’s lives. They help them become aware of the strength and guidance older people can offer and show them the value of connections between the generations.
Some grandparents take on a supporting role in their grandchildren’s lives while many more have become parents for a second time and are raising their grandchildren themselves. In Wisconsin, 5.7% of children under 18 live in homes where the head of the household is a grandparent or other relative (www.grandfamilies.org). Many of these grandparents raising grandchildren are over the age of 60, are still in the workforce, and are living on limited income and/or have disabilities and health conditions that make their new role even more challenging to navigate. These grandparent caregivers often face difficulties enrolling their grandchildren in school or healthcare, as they often do not have legal paperwork authorizing them to do so. The grandchildren may also have complicated health conditions or behavioral concerns that add even more complexity to the situation.
These “second-time” parents are true, super-hero caregivers. At a time when many thought they were heading into a life of retirement and relaxation; they find themselves busier and more stressed than ever. Though there are many positive aspects of grandparents raising their grandchildren, everyone needs a break from time to time to recharge.
We can help! ADRC has a program that provides information, support, and other resources to help grandparents and other older relatives who have taken on the responsibility of parenting. The National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP) can provide limited, short-term respite (a break from caregiving) services and items that help provide care, including, but not limited to:
- Extra-curricular school or camp activity fees and supplies
- Tutoring or educational aids
- One-on-one weekly activities
Who is Eligible?
The following criteria must be met to qualify:
- Must be a grandparent or other relative of the child
- Must be age 55 or older
- Must be the primary caregiver of the child
- Child must be under 19 years of age
- Must live with the child
If you identify with this article and would like to learn more about NFCSP and how to apply, call ADRC of Brown County: