This recent article “When Grandparents Are Called to Parent — Again” from AARP highlights a growing trend in America: grandparents stepping in to raise their grandchildren due to various crises. Keith and Edie Lowhorne, Eugene Vickerson, and Mercedes Bristol are among millions of older Americans who have had to alter their retirement plans to take on the role of primary caregivers for their grandchildren.
Factors like parental substance abuse, incarceration, death, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the opioid epidemic have contributed to this increase. U.S. census data indicates that 7.1 million American grandparents live with their grandchildren, with 2.3 million being responsible for them. Despite the financial and emotional challenges, these grandparents are creating stable, nurturing environments for their grandchildren.
Organizations like Generations United and individual initiatives like Texas Grandparents Raising Grandchildren provide support and advocacy for these “grandfamilies,” highlighting both the strains and supports of this societal shift. Check out this wonderful resource for grandparents in similar positions.