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A1. CHILDREN RAISED BY GRANDPARENTS
One child in 10 in the United States lives with a grandparent, a share that increased slowly and steadily over the past decade before rising sharply from 2007 to 2008, the first year of the Great Recession, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.
About four in ten (41%) of those children who live with a grandparent (or grandparents) are also being raised primarily by that grandparent,1according to the census data.
This figure--2.9 million children2?--rose slowly throughout the decade and it, too, spiked from 2007 to 2008. In that single year, there was a six percent increase.
The phenomenon of grandparents serving as primary caregivers is more common among blacks3 and Hispanics than among whites4 but the sharpest rise since the recession began has been among whites.
The number of white grandparents primarily responsible for their grandchildren rose by nine percent from 2007 to 2008, compared with an increase of just two percent among black grandparents and no change among Hispanic grandparents.
Almost half (49%) of children being raised by grandparents also live with a single parent. For about four in ten (43%) of these children, there is no parent in the household. About eight percent have both parents in the household, in addition to the caregiver grandparent.
Whether or not they live with and raise their grandchildren, being a grandparent is central to the lives of most older Americans, according to a 2009 Pew Research Center survey.
Just as the number of children being cared for by their grandparents has increased from 2000 to 2008, the corresponding number of grandparents serving as primary caregivers to their grandchildren increased eight percent, from 2.4 million in 2000 to 2.6 million in 2008.
Three percent of that increase occurred from 2000 to 2007, and five percent occurred from 2007 to 2008.
For the most part, grandparent caregivers have very limited financial resources. Nearly one in five (18%) are living below the poverty line,5 while 47% have household incomes that fall between one- and three-times the poverty line. In comparison, among the population ages 50 and older, eight percent are below the poverty line, and 32% are living on an income that is between one- and three-times the poverty rate.
From 2000 to 2008, grandparents with incomes between one- and three-times the poverty level have shown the largest increase (12%) in care giving for their grandchildren. However, much of the increase in grandparent care giving since the onset of the recession has occurred among grandparents who have incomes that are at least three times the poverty level.
Overall, grandparent primary caregivers are relatively young--more than two-thirds (67%) are younger than age 60, with 13% younger than age 45. This likely reflects the fact that younger grandparents are still physically able to take on the needs of grandchildren.
Some 62% of grandparent caregivers are female, and 38% are men. Two-thirds of grandparent caregivers are married, while 34% are not.
The plurality of grandparents who care for their grandchildren have been doing so for quite a long time. More than half (54%) report that they have been the primary caregiver to at least one grandchild for three years or more, and 23% have been the primary caregiver to a grandchild for between one and two years.
Grandparents Helping in Other Ways
Aside from the small but growing minority of grandparents who have primary responsibility for their grandchildren, how many grandparents help out at least occasionally with childcare? According to the 2009 Pew Research survey, among those ages 65 and older who have grandchildren, 39% say they have helped their adult children with childcare in the past 12 months. These grandparents are more likely to have given their adult children money over the past year (50%), and somewhat less likely to have helped their kids out with errands, housework or home repairs (31%).
Among grandparents ages 65 and older, the percentage helping out their adult children by providing childcare for the grandkids declines steeply with age. Fully half of those in their 60s and early 70s (51%) say they helped with childcare in the past year. Among those ages 75-84, 30% did so, and among those ages 85 and older, the share falls to 19%.
Interestingly, more grandfathers than grandmothers say they have helped out with childcare in the past year. Among grandfathers ages 65-74, 57% helped out with the grandkids. This compares with 47% of grandmothers in the same age group.
Older adults are more likely than their younger counterparts to say grandparents helping with childcare is a responsibility. And among those with grandchildren, nearly four in ten (38%) feel this way.
Source: by Gretchen Livingston and Kim Parker, Pew Research Center September 9, 2010 Read more on this study at: http://pewsocialtrends.org/pubs/764/more-children-being-raised-by-grandparents-great-recession#prc-jump
See additional aging-related information here: http://www.seniorresource.com/ageproc.htm
A2. SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENTS IN COVERAGE FOR HEART DISEASE AND STROKE PATIENTS
The six-month anniversary (September 21, 2010) of the Affordable Care Act marks an important milestone for millions of Americans who have long awaited access to affordable, quality health care. Countless heart disease and stroke patients and their families will immediately benefit from the important insurance reforms that take effect on September 23. Among them are the ban on lifetime and unreasonable annual limits on care; the ban on denying coverage for children with pre-existing conditions; protections against termination of coverage when individuals get sick; enhanced availability of preventive services with no cost-sharing; and coverage for young adults up to age 26. In addition, the launch of the new Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plans is providing an indelible safety net to the thousands of Americans with pre-existing conditions who were previously denied coverage.
The American Heart Association welcomes this important milestone and has recently launched a series of online videos to help educate Americans about the new law and these health consumer and patient protections that will help them access essential health services without the risk of financial hardship or personal bankruptcy. The video vignettes feature heart disease and stroke patients asking some of the most common healthcare questions about the law. These videos can be found on the health care reform website www.HeartsforHealthcare.org.
The recently released sobering data from the U.S. Census that an additional 4.4 million Americans lost their insurance coverage last year reminded us all that our health system was unsustainable and that enactment of reform was necessary. These early consumer protections and insurance reforms provide important relief for families nationwide. The association remains committed to working with Congress, the Administration and others to implement the Affordable Care Act and ensure that it fulfills the promise of accessible, affordable care to heart disease and stroke patients.
B. DID YOU KNOW...?
1. Coffee: Good and Bad
So, just as your mother said, "All good things in moderation."
Find more health information at: http://www.seniorresource.com/health.htm
2. Steps to Preventing Dementia
Learn more about aging processes at http://www.seniorresource.com/ageproc.htm
C. THOUGHTS FOR THE MONTH
We present here some words from those with a birthday this month.
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D. SPECIAL SURFING SITES
1. Internet Buying Good Practices
Visit our Senior Bazaar for gifts for Seniors http://www.seniorresource.com/SRBaz.htm
2. Finding Government Information
Here are some of the topics that are covered.
Visit Answers.usa.gov for more information.
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E. OH MY AGING FUNNY BONE
Seniorresource.com is pleased to welcome a weekly Seniors cartoon to our site. The artist, Larry Lewis, wrote and drew the daily and Sunday comic strip "Campus Clatter," distributed for seven years by the Newspaper Enterprise Association. A cartoonist and commercial artist for more than 60 years, his cartoons have appeared in many national and regional newspapers and magazines. The cartoon may be found at http://www.seniorresource.com/age.htm . Don't forget to visit each week.
1. TV Shows of Days Gone Bye:
Here some of the shows that we followed in the day:
2. More Donations
Father O'Neal answers the phone.
"Oh My Aging Funny Bone" is at: http://www.seniorresource.com/jokes.htm
SPONSOR AN ISSUE
This issue has been edited by Betsy Day (Betsyjday@aol.com).
Aging in Place