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AARP Research on grandparents busts stereotypes

Posted on 09/06/19

Grandparents play an important role in families; and according to the U.S. Census, more than 2.7 million grandparents are raising grandchildren and 7.3 million grandparents have grandchildren under age 18 living with them.

The figures are staggering, but the commitment, love and sacrifice shown by granparents is immenense, as well, which is why we are proud to celebrate National Grandparents Day on the first Sunday after Labor Day.

AARP volunteer and retired Houston school teacher Lydia Oliphant knows about caring for grandchildren. She cares for her two granddaughters and two grandsons --ages 8, 12, 14, and 16 whenever her children need help with the kids.

“They’re a joy to have,” said Oliphant. “The best thing I can do for them is to teach them good manners. Good manners go a long way.”

According to a new study by AARP, grandparents enjoy the positive aspects of grandparenting, such as supporting dreams and sharing roots, history and culture, and experiences.

The study also showed that grandparents have, on average, four to five grandchildren. The number of grandparents in the workforce has increased in the past seven years, with 40 percent of grandparents currently employed.

Alison Bryant, AARP senior vice president of research, said today’s grandparents are an economic force that cannot be ignored.

“They are living longer, working longer, shattering stereotypes and supporting their grandchildren in a variety of ways, including financially and culturally. Nearly all grandparents are providing some sort of financial support, helping to ease the costs of raising kids,” said Bryant.

Other key findings of the research include:

  • 94 percent of grandparents provide some sort of financial support to their grandchild(ren);
  • 87 percent would accept an LGBT grandchild;
  • 34 percent have grandchildren of mixed or different race/ethnicity;
  • 71 percent say their health status is very good or excellent;
  • 89 percent say their relationships with their grandchild(ren) is good for their mental well-being;
  • 29 percent live more than 50 miles away from their closest child, up from 19 percent in 2011;
  • 11 percent have a grandchild living with them, consistent with 2011 results;
  • 5 percent of those in multigenerational households are primary caregivers of a grandchild living with them.

The full report is available here.

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