Did you know that one in 10 grandparents have a grandchild living with them? More and more grandparents are taking on the role of primary caregiver to their grandchildren. Many of the people who find themselves taking on that level of responsibility often find that it comes with additional challenges and concerns.
“How did all of this happen? I raised my children, I’m too old to go through that again – I need help!”
There are countless reasons that lead to grandparents becoming the primary custodian of younger relatives but for many families, it is the result of them trying to make the best of a difficult family situation. When a grandparent steps in for the benefit of the minor relative they may feel unprepared to parent alone in a different era and ill-equipped to navigate through all the responsibilities involved.
Senior Services provides assistance through Parenting a Second Time Around (PASTA), an award-winning, research-based curriculum that addresses the needs of families where a grandparent or other relative is raising children. PASTA is a seven-week, weekly program that helps people in this situation. It is grounded in the latest research on parenting, child development, and legal issues. Through PASTA, Senior Services offers support, resources, and the opportunity to meet other caregivers facing the same challenges and experiences in a classroom-like setting. Participants receive information to assist with meeting the challenges associated with raising children growing up in this new generation.
Senior Services takes its support for grandparents raising minor relatives further by providing a Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, (GRG) monthly support group. The support group is for adults 55+ and raising grandchildren or other minor relatives under the age of 18. Through these monthly meetings, participants learn about available resources and discuss current challenges and the joys of kinship care in a safe supportive environment.
PASTA and GRG help take pressure off kinship caregivers and provide them with available tools and resources but most importantly, they let them know they are not alone. PASTA and GRG Kinship Care Coordinator, Frandee Nichols, notes significant changes in the caregivers from when they first become engaged with the programs. “I see a sense of relief in most all the participants,” explains Nichols, “in that, they see they are not alone and that there is a support system to hold them up.”
“Bill and I do enjoy these meetings. It really helps to lighten your load when you can freely share with other people in a similar situation.” -Judy Holbrook, previous PASTA and GRG participant
To learn more or to sign up for the next Senior Services sessions of PASTA or GRG starting in February contact: Frandee Nichols, Kinship Care Coordinator, 336-721-6952 or email@example.com.