Reasons for Rising Incidences of Grandparents Raising Their Grandchildren
Grandparents are lovely people. During the grandparent’s day, you’ll want to give various gifts, make calls, and send email wishes.
Today, many grandparents have taken up the responsibility of taking care of grandkids. Grandparents prepare breakfast, plan children’s activities, and ensure that the kids complete homework on time.
What legal rights do grandparents have? The custodian grandparents have the right to act as caregivers and take care of two or three grandchildren. It’s vital to celebrate grandparents by appreciating the significant contributions made to the grandchildren, more so when in old age.
The Continuous and Ever-Changing Phenomenon
Grandparents come from different cultures, races, ethnic backgrounds. The younger ones are below 60 years and represent 67%. Not all are well able, and you’ll find that about 26% do not live a decent life even though half are in the labor force.
It’s not surprising that grandparents take care of grandkids. It’s been part of history for ages, and it has been part of family life. An excellent example is a former president of the United States, Barack Obama, who was single-handedly raised by the grandparents.
Even though the trend has been on for years, there are various changes experienced over time. In most cases, parents would live kids with grandparents to go out and search for employment. That’s the time grandparents take up parental responsibilities as the parent’s transition and relocate.
There has been an increase in the number of grandparents raising grandchildren since the 90s. The major contributing factors are the state of the economy, parental neglect, child abuse, and incarceration.
Other reasons that contribute to the high rise in foster parental care are drug abuse and opioid. When parents can no longer take care of the kids, the law gives the grandparents the right to provide parental care.
Also, there have been drastic changes in family life due to the increase in women’s incarceration. There was a significant increase in female incarceration in the 90s more than males.
The Effect of Caregiving on Health
As time changes, grandparents face various challenges due to old age. Most have severe health conditions yet, with limited time, energy, and financial resources to take care of the grandchildren. The custodians would always give priority to the health of the kids.
Since most do not have the means to get medical care, it can result in undiagnosed health conditions and chronic diseases. It can also lead to insufficient exercise and poor nutrition. Additionally, grandparents can quickly sink into depression and anxiety due to the stress that comes with childcare.
Besides the challenges that grandparents face, it is interesting that the kids give joy and a sense of purpose.
Grandparents and Policy
When a child enters the grandparents’ care, the policy states that the grandparents need to ensure that the kids stay safe. It saves billions of money for the government. Most grandparents spend a lot on raising the kids, especially when there is no second source of help.
What’s the Best Support to give the Grandparents?
Due to the increase in the number of custodian grandparents and the increased needs, there are support groups in various communities that provide the needed resources. An example of such a program for healthy grandparents is at Georgia State University. It offers much-needed help to support the health of grandparents, remain healthy, and take care of the grandkids.
The types of support services offered by the program include child intervention for children living with disabilities. It also carries out home visits, and grand-housing, which provides apartments for the grandparents with grandkids.