There are more than 70 million grandparents in the US and the numbers continue growing. In one AARP survey of grandparents, 73% report “they enjoy it.” Naturally, many of us are missing our grandchildren. Grandparents often are major figures in the lives of their grandchildren. And frequently, grandparents are a source of support for their adult children as they enter the parenting stage.
Across the country, multigenerational living situations — whether spurred by the coronavirus pandemic or already in place — are making grandparents starring figures in family life. They're caring for grandchildren as parents work from home, helping with remote education, doing chores like cooking and yard work, and reading bedtime stories. The result is often a deeper relationship with members of the household.
According to AARP, older adults are benefitting from this multigenerational living environment, too. Research has shown that seniors who provide some care for their grandchildren had a 37 percent lower risk of death over a 20-year period, compared with those who didn't or older adults who weren't grandparents.
Bottomline – The grandparent-grandchild bond is more important than ever and helps everyone in the family.
Collectively grandparents spend a total of $179 billion per year on their grandchildren, approximately $2,562 per grandparent. Those dollars are going toward a variety of expenses and spending choices, the survey found, from gifts to education and day-to-day costs.
AARP Kentucky recently had a virtual session with grandparents. Volunteers shared some ways grandparents and grandkids can stay connected virtually:
AARP Kentucky volunteers shared their ideas to helping grandparents and grandchildren stay connected virtually.
In Kentucky, local resources for grandparents raising grandchildren are available from the Kinship Families - Coalition of Kentucky.
The Kentucky Grandparent and Relative Caregiver Handbook (pdf)
A Caregiver’s Guide created by Kinship Families Coalition of Kentucky in collaboration with the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Office (September 2020)
More on Home & Family
More ideas and resources from AARP for families, grandparents and grandchildren.
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