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Parenting Grandparents Find Support

June 24, 2013

The reality of grandparents raising grandchildren with disabilities is a prevalent, but silent battle. Little information and support exists for this demographic, even though the number of households where this occurs grows annually.


Why Grandparents Raise Grandchildren

There are a number of reasons why grandparents take on the responsibility of raising grandchildren with disabilities. A few contributors to this situation are:

– Single parent relies on grandparents for necessary support
– Poverty
– Neglect
– Substance abuse
– Death

Needs of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

While acting as parent for a second time is not ideal, most grandparents are naturally inclined to fulfill this role if the need exists. Since stepping into this living arrangement is often an easy decision to make, grandparents tend to overlook their needs for extra help.

The truth is that grandparents raising grandchildren with disabilities probably need:

– Local support and help with daily activities
– Support from peers and other family members who are aware of the situation
– Financial aid to accommodate living expenses and medical fees

Resources for Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

One reason why this group of caregivers is often overlooked is because they seem to shy away from using the assistive tools that are available. This is a double edged sword; without demand for these resources, supply remains low.

Most of the time, grandparents caring for grandchildren require the following types of information:

– Legal advice
–  Articles and books
–  Health and safety information
–  Support groups
–  Conferences
–  Blogs and videos

By seeking support and information, grandparents raising grandchildren with disabilities will increase awareness of atypical, yet natural, living situation.

If you find yourself in this situation, the first step to getting on track is to make sure you are healthy and knowledgeable of all the resources available to you and your specific family situation.

For more information, equip yourself with understanding. This comprehensive research report is a good place to start:

Additional resource:

Image made available by vastateparksstaff on Flickr through Creative Common Licenses.

*Please note: All research for this article is compiled from direct and third party sources. Mention of programs, organizations and companies does not imply support of The National Benefit Authority.  Pictures are for creative purposes only; they are not intended to sell or promote products for the NBA and belong to the accredited individual, organization or company.

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