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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I recently had the pleasure of joining my long-time friend and colleague Jaia Peterson Lent, Deputy Executive Director at Generations United, for a discussion on AARP's TV show, Inside E Street which provides a civil look at issues critical to Americans. We talked about a topic we both feel very passionate about: grandparents. Inside E Street's host, Lark McCarthy, was fabulous (I remember watching her on the local DC TV station so it was great to meet her in person!). In this segment, Grandparents on a Mission, we had a lively discussion about the legal challenges facing grandparents who are seeking visitation with grandchildren and about the financial, health, legal and other tough issues that grandparent caregivers wrestle with every day.
I co-presented at a session, "Grandparents Raising Grandchildren: Preliminary Results of a National Survey on Research and Practice" here at the American Society on Aging's "Aging in America" conference in San Francisco, along with Deb Whitley from GSU and Andrea Smith from WMU. We were so pleased that we had a good representation of the next generation of researchers and practitioners at our session - undergraduate and graduate students. They are the future. They are the people who will be taking care of all of us boomers as we age!
Here in San Francisco at the American Society on Aging annual conference, "Aging in America," I co-led a peer group session around grandparenting today, along with my friend Donna Butts, the Executive Director of Generations United. The highlight for me was meeting new people and seeing old friends...and getting fired up by their enthusiasm. A few of my inspired colleagues shared what they were up to:
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