Celebrating All Grandparents

Today we honor Marian McQuade of West Virginia. In the 1970s, McQuade worked tirelessly to educate people about the important contributions of older Americans, and she urged Americans to “adopt a grandparent” and enjoy the benefit of their wisdom and experience. She even convinced governors, Congress and then President Jimmy Carter to set aside a day each year to celebrate this special group of people. Sept. 7 marks the 35th anniversary of National Grandparents Day, and in the spirit of McQuade, …

What Role Do You Play in Your Grandchildren’s Lives?

You may love being a grandparent, but are you willing to help raise your grandchildren? That’s what NBC’s Today wants to know, in a new poll they have posted on Today.com in Maria Shriver’s blog post about the changing roles of grandparents. I’ve tracked this topic for many years, and AARP, MetLife and other organizations have gathered data indicating grandparents play important roles in their grandkids lives. Grandparents provide significant financial support and child care for grandchildren. Many live with their …

Grandmas Raising Grandkids Struggle With Depression

This is probably not going to surprise anyone, yet it’s still important to emphasize: A grandmother raising her grandkids full-time needs help with the depression and family strain that often results, according to a long-running study of grandmothers’ roles. The researchers found that “roughly half” of grandmothers raising their grandchildren full-time suffered symptoms of depression, researcher Carol Musil, Ph.D., a professor of nursing at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, told AARP. The study also found, however, that stressed grandmas …

A Baby at 62! Why Are Scientists So Surprised?

She is 62, and the smarty-pants scientists were sure her fertile days were long over. But then she (literally) gave them the bird by hatching a new little albatross chick. Her name is Wisdom, and she’s a beautiful charcoal-gray and snowy-white Laysan albatross (see a typical one, pictured at left) who lives at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge near the Hawaiian Islands. Although the average Laysan albatross dies at less than half her age, Wisdom is proof you should …

Grandfamilies Roundup: Studies, Housing and Resources

Grandparents Week brings to mind those grandparents who are playing a special role – those who are living in multigenerational households and/or raising grandchildren by themselves. These grandparents go the extra mile to be there for their grandkids. Here’s a roundup of new research, resources and supports for grandfamilies. After more than a decade of planning, the newest housing designed specifically for grandfamilies, Grandfamilies Place of Phoenix, opened the first week of August. According to Delmonte Edwards, executive director of Tanner …

Growth in Grandfamilies Leads to Food Insecurity

Editor’s note: This post originally appeared as an article in the May/June 2012 issue of Aging Today but has been edited for length. According to the U.S. Census, more than 2.5 million grandparents in America are householders responsible for grandchildren who live with them, and almost 20 percent are living in poverty. More than a third of these households have no parents present. A recent AARP survey found about one in 10 grandparents have grandchildren living in the home, and 43 percent …