Caregiving – Role Reversal for Parents and Children

Filed under Friends & Family

As children, many of us took for granted the countless hours of hard work our parents endured to ensure we grew into happy, healthy and respectable adults. By the time most people enter their early twenties it becomes very apparent how much time and dedication is needed to take care of another life almost 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Is there ever a time when you have the opportunity to show your parents just how much you appreciate everything they’ve done for you over the years? Absolutely.

Giving Back

As parents age, they become more reliant on their children to help with everyday activities. It becomes evident that your parents need help with simple tasks like driving to their doctor’s appointments, grocery shopping or paying the bills. When these things start taking place, it’s the perfect opportunity to show your parents the same respect they showed you growing up. It’s time to step up and start taking care of them.


Taking care of your parents (especially if they live in your home) is physically and emotionally exhausting and will likely impact your life in a very big way. It’s important to realize that you’re not alone. Millions of families struggle with in-home care but the care you give now will make your parent’s final years so much better and will give you peace of mind once they’re gone.

Besides coping with common conditions many elderly men and women face (dementia, arthritis, incontinence etc.), other obstacles like taking care of their finances, making sure they take their medication and providing them with proper nutrition also come into play. Basically, everything your parents have been maintaining up until this point now falls onto your shoulders.

Overcoming the Barriers

As your parents become older and require more and more care, helping them on a regular basis begins to take its toll on you. Your first priority will generally be your parent’s needs (much like you were your parents’ first priority when you were a child) but you need to make sure your health is in good condition. How are you going to help your parents if you can’t help yourself?

If you feel as though the burden is becoming too much, there are several alternatives to consider. Contacting an in-home nursing company is probably your best option.

Generally, nurses will come once or twice a day (or a few times a week, depending on how much help you need) to take some of the pressure off you and allow time for you to take care of yourself (got to the spa, the gym etc.).

Another alternative to consider is a nursing home. While many seniors are hesitant to enter a nursing home, it could end up being the best option for everyone involved. Senior homes offer nursing care, social activities, meals and more and will allow you to live your life normally again.

Peace of Mind

Caring for your parents as they become older is very rewarding. At the end of the day, you know you did your best to make sure that they continue to live their lives as easily and worry-free as possible. The peace of mind that knowing you had the opportunity to give them back what they gave you all those years is priceless.

Article by Mary Sanders

Online Dating Tips for Seniors and Baby Boomers

Filed under Friends & Family

Are you single and retired? Ready to explore dating once more? You are not alone. The fact is, there are a lot of people aged 50 and up who are looking for a new partner. Most often than not, seniors turn to the Internet to explore online dating for finding a new partner or simply to look for new friends.

For those who have lost a partner or someone special, times can be a very tough and also very lonely. Senior dating might just be what you are looking for after long years of grieving and living alone. Opening yourself towards new companionship may help you realize that life still has a lot to offer.

Yes, you do still have your children and grandchildren that mean the world to you and bring you joy and happiness. At the same time, it might not be enough to replace the emptiness within your heart. It makes all the difference in the world when you know you have that special someone with you all the time. Someone who you can open up to by sharing all your stories because you know they will understand.

There are a lot of online dating sites for seniors, which can help you meet others just like you. These sites serve as place where you can socialize and communicate with other single seniors who are also interested in dating. These sites will usually ask you to fill out a form where you can include details about your personal information and dating preferences. What you choose to include is up to you and the information you submit will be used to create your online profile. In return, the site will match you up with other individuals who are possibly compatible based on your online profile and preferences.

Of course like with anything new, there can be some skepticism at first if these sites really work and if your information is secure. These sites have actually put in measures in place to ensure your profile is secure and that is a big reason there are millions catching onto this new phenomenon. As a matter of fact, people have been finding their true loves online and even getting married which is growing rapidly by the tens of thousands.

How many friends and family do you know that have gone on dates to only find out that the other person isn’t really that compatible? What if they were just always on their “best foot forward” and it became difficult to break ties with that person? This is the beauty of the Internet as it can allow you to connect with possibly your “soul mate” with literally the click of a button.

If you decide to join an online dating site, just be sure to keep these things in mind for your safety:

1. Investigate. Be sure to sign-up only on reputable online dating service sites. Ask friends and even do a search online with your favorite search engine. Within the site, you should find information showing if they are “TrustE” or “Hacker-Safe” certified. This is where the site has to undergo a strenuous process and strict privacy guidelines to be compliant. You can usually find this information within the sites “Privacy” link or “About Us” section.

2. Be Cautious. Do not give out too much personal information too soon. It is advisable not to reveal your real name, email address , your home address or work address and phone number unless you are absolutely sure that you can completely trust the person and that the date is real. You can even take a friend with you and meet in a public area if you want to be 100% comfortable.

3. Take advantage of free sites. Before signing-up to any senior dating services online, be sure to check if there is a fee to join. Also, ensure to “read the fine print.” Tip: There are a lot of top, reputable online dating sites that offer their services for free.

When creating your online profile, remember these tips to make it easier to find the right person:

1. Be honest. Be sure to put the correct information and do not lie about your age, otherwise, you will mislead people, making it harder for you to find your match.

2. Think. Make sure to ask yourself about the important qualities you are looking for in a partner before filling out the profile form.

3. Promote yourself. It will help if you focus on your positive traits and things that you can offer in a relationship.

4. Be realistic. You cannot replace your spouse that you have lost. Therefore, when looking for a new partner, try not to compare the person to your previous partner. Remember, everyone is unique.

5. Be patient. Do not rush. Keep in mind that things don’t happen overnight. Be sure to know the person as much as possible. Take it one day at a time.

6. Upload your best photo. Upload you nicest picture as your profile. Based on recent studies, members of online dating sites look at profile pictures first before making any effort in getting to know other members better. It might not be right, but this is reality. Don’t stress out too much about this as the saying goes: “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.”

7. Don’t be too picky. Try to lessen your search criteria in order to get more possible matches. People who tend to be too picky end up not finding Mr. or Ms. Right. Be sure to set realistic and attainable expectations.

Follow these tips to ensure you’ll have a very positive experience online and possibly find the companionship you have been looking for.

Article by Catharine Allado

A Senior Friend is a Friend Indeed

Filed under Friends & Family

As we journey through life we travel through many different stages from childhood to seniority, we meet various people that become our friends but you cannot beat the true value of a senior friend.

A mature friend understands the expedition that you have traveled as they have also walked along the same path. Both of you have so many adventures to discuss and have witnessed so many,( maybe too many) changes, some good some bad, along the way.

You have experienced the joys that life has to offer; perhaps one of these was when you initially encountered your now old friend. Have you journeyed through life together? Always being there for one another when needed? Always offering that shoulder to cry on when times were bad? Or has your senior friend only recently entered into your life?

If your friend has been by your side throughout the epic adventure that is life then this is a true friendship that you are lucky to have. Many people are not fortunate enough to experience a friendship like this. A friendship where you know each other so well and trust each other implicitly is truly precious. A true friend should be cherished for they are valuable.

With all that modern day life throws at us these days to enter into your senior years alone a very daunting thought. This is where your friend comes into play, someone to reassure you and be there for you. A senior friend has seen enough of life to concern themselves about the trivial things. It is your senior friend who will not fall out with you because you used their make-up or borrowed their favorite skirt without asking. That can be left to the teenagers of the world; a senior friend has more dignity than that!

When I was growing up my granddad was my closest friend , always offering me advice and acting the fool, he was on the end of the phone whenever I needed him. Mum told me one day that he was very poorly and developed Alzheimer’s disease, he does not remember us now. When we visit I act as though he is still my best friend and that he is just as he was.

The senior friend in your life will not ask much of you, just companionship more than anything. Someone to chat to about the ‘old days’ when once teenagers are now seniors, discuss the way life used to be. How much the world has altered over the years, perhaps talk about the friends that is not with you today.

The senior years are a point in your life for reflection, contemplation and rumination. To ponder thoughts of what might have been, your senior friend is someone experiencing the same emotions as you who have reached the same point in their journey as you have.

Celebrate the twilight years; they are as precious as you are. Never look back in regret just look back with pride and celebrate the fact that both you and your senior friend are here today.

Article by Chaim Golz

Internet Dating for Seniors

Filed under Friends & Family

For the more senior folks trying your hand at internet dating can be a little scary. It is not the same as meeting some one face to face for a normal date. Dating is regularly been traditional for the younger generation who are in the early stages of exploring relationships to try their hand at dating. In society it has been a general assumption that most senior people are married or are past the dating stage in life. But that is no longer the case in the new age world. More and more folks of all ages, race and sexual orientation are trying their hand at internet dating.

For the more senior folks internet dating can be heaps of fun even though it may be scary and daunting when they first give it a try. Internet dating is suited for the more senior folks as well as they have life experience, wisdom, knowledge, plus the maturity that comes with age.

Internet dating sites allow seniors the opportunity to meet other people around the same age who are looking for a relationship. This has normally been a challenge for the more elder people as the dating scene is targeted towards the young generation through venues like dance clubs, night clubs, bars and other such outlets. The problem faced for seniors is meeting other singles of the same age who are seeking partners or relationships.

The internet has opened up the opportunity for single senior people to meet others around the same age who are actively seeking a partner or some sort of relationship. Internet dating sites are a booming industry now and many sites are designed and cater for the more senior folks aged over 40. There are over 6 million seniors online looking for partners in internet dating sites on the internet today.

Most senior dating sites offer a free trial membership and providing excellent services like forum, chat rooms, and video, photo profiles. They also offer other tools that make your online experience a confidential and safe one.

It’s important when you sign up to any internet dating site that you make sure it is one that has a good reputation and has very good policies and procedures in place. It is important that you read the regulations before you sign up so you’re aware of what to expect.

Also for safety ensure your personal details remain private and never give out your residential address, financial details which identity thefts or other people can use for their own personal gain.

Try and create a profile that makes you stand out from the others. Try not to lie but add some flare so that it creates curiosity and intrigue. You want the other person to want to get to know you a little better so making your profile different from the normal mundane profile will surely ensure your success.

No matter if you’re a senior in your retirement years, newly divorced, recently widowed, lonely or isolated internet dating may just bring some fun, love, romance and companionship into your life.

Why Online Dating is Perfect for Seniors

Filed under Friends & Family

First of all, I should say that most people I know, who are over the age of fifty, bristle at being called ‘seniors.’ They don’t consider themselves old, they resent the mail they receive from AARP, and they won’t even accept the discounts available at movie theatres, restaurants, and other commercial establishments, at least until they cross over the sixty mark. Then, they seem to lighten up a little.

I don’t think it’s a matter of vanity, at least not entirely. It seems to be more the fact that they don’t feel like seniors in the traditional sense of the term. These people are not our grandparents grandparents, if you’ll excuse a twist on some stolen imagery. These are not the pie-baking, chair-rocking, knitting needle-clicking grannies of yore. Okay, some probably are, but remember, many of them are the kids who went off to the Peace Corps, fought in Vietnam, marched on Washington, and danced naked at Woodstock. Sorry if that last one put a picture of your grandma in your head that you’ll never get out.

The point is, most of these ‘seniors’ are still healthy, vibrant, vigorous, financially stable and, dare we say it, sexually active human beings. They are online in record numbers, just like the rest of us, and they’re at online dating venues looking for the same things the rest of us are looking for; friendship, romance, companionship, love, and sex. And the good news is, there are a boatload of online services that are designed to cater specifically to the ‘mature’ dater.

o, How’s It Feel To Be An Old-Timer?

Amazingly, you only have to be over forty to find yourself included in this group, when it comes to online dating sites, but the fact is, there really are no rules. There’s nothing to prevent a man or woman of forty-five, or even seventy-five, from signing up at any dating or personals site on the web, and thousands do every day. The only point of the mature-specific dating sites is to make the search easier for the searchers, just like any other niche site. If you’re looking for someone in a specific ethnic, social, religious, or age group, it makes sense to go to where they congregate. If you’re sixty and looking for someone else who’s sixty, and you don’t want to sift through all the thirty-year-olds, then give a mature dating site a spin, even if you resent the terminology. Although, sometimes the sifting can be a good time in itself.

Now, some may think that because Grandpa doesn’t use his mobile phone for texting and downloading tunes, that he doesn’t appreciate, or understand, the technology available to him. But people over fifty have embraced technology, and specifically the internet, with the same gusto as everyone else. They have discovered social networking and email to keep in touch with family and friends, they make their own travel and hotel arrangements online, they investigate and research drug and medical questions, and they are flocking to online dating venues like it’s half-price Viagra.

Anyone Seen My 8-Track of Herman’s Hermits?

It’s true that this is a generation that grew up without computers, and CDs, and satellite television, and talking automobiles. They were deprived of Playstation, wii, voice mail and fat-free bacon, but this generation grew up at a time when, if you wanted to communicate with someone far away, you wrote a letter. Long distance telephone calls were expensive, and generally only for important matters and special occasions. So, this is a generation of people who, by and large, know how to express themselves with pen and paper, or even a keyboard if necessary. They are almost certainly better equipped to pursue an online relationship, with a person they have yet to meet, than someone for whom “Id luv 2 mtU 4 dinA” is a sentence.

No slight intended to our younger readers, but the art of letter writing is still alive and well in many of these ‘mature’ folk, and it’s perfectly suited to the kind of relationships being conducted every day in social forums and online dating venues all over the web. Getting to know someone online is all about communication, including measured doses of finesse and nuance. There can be an intimacy, and a tenderness, in the written word that seems more difficult to get to in a face to face discussion. If you start out with the skill to express yourself, and reveal who you are, on paper or online, then you’re miles ahead of someone who doesn’t.

Does everyone over fifty possess these skills? Of course not. But I’d venture to guess there’s a much larger percentage of skilled letter writers in this age group than in the society of whipper-snappers that largely populates the netscape. Not to disparage whipper-snappers of any age, but writing skills have generally declined with the advent of so many electronic distractions, the personal computer included. Back in the dark ages of the fifties and sixties, television was pretty much the only game in town.

Off The Computer, Kid. Nanna’s Got A Hot Date.

So, the next time you dismiss the idea of Grandma getting lucky online, think again. She may be doing much better than you are. And, if you’re a ‘mature’ person ready for a new romance in your life, don’t dismiss the internet as a possibility. It affords the ability to search for and meet potential friends far beyond your own social and professional circles, and allows you to size them up without even having to speak to them. Then, if they pass initial muster, you can choose to begin an online dialogue. If you’re half as literate as I’ve made you out to be, you’ll be showing these kids a thing or two about online dating that will make them envious of your prowess as a date magnet.

Now, get out there and make us both look smart.

Article by Daniel Perkins

Resolving Adult-Elder Family Conflicts

Filed under Friends & Family

The downturn in our country’s economic health can affect older adults, their families and their caregivers in unexpected ways.

A significant change in the financial strength of retirees’ assets may impact caregiving options. Although available money for in-home care or for a planned move to an assisted-living facility may be significantly reduced, the need for a higher level of service may still be evident. Conflict is a natural outcome when people are forced to change. When change is forced upon us, it is important that we find ways to manage conflict so that everyone can embrace the changes in harmony. Families may be forced to re-evaluate viable alternatives. How can older adults’ needs be met effectively, while curtailing expenses and appropriately making other family adjustments?

…Perhaps one of the children (or grandchildren or nieces/nephews…) recently lost their job, making them available to provide care directly. This relative may even desire to move in with the elder-in-need. But – just because a family member is available, is this person the right caregiver? Does he understand what is required? Or might she provide inadequate care or ignore, inappropriately influence or even abuse the elder? How are these decisions made and what if everyone does not agree? Are other family members able to discuss these issues or do these changes just happen?

…Perhaps a family member who has been providing the bulk of the caregiving activities now finds it necessary to take on a second job, limiting time available to care for the elder. Who can pick up the extra slack? If the family cannot afford to hire regular caregivers, what other options might available? Can other family member step up and provide care? What if everyone else in the family lives far away and/or already overextended? Can the family make these decisions in a proactive way or is it more like “management by crisis”?

Perhaps your parent and a friend have decided to become roommates to reduce costs. Maybe your mother has offered to rent out the extra bedroom to someone she just met! What if family members disagree – some family members are relieved that Mom won’t be alone, yet others recognize potential danger? Do family members have the skills and the desire necessary to have these difficult conversations?

Such changes should prompt heartfelt family discussions. Some families are well-equipped with lots of trust and good communication skills. However, when everyone is already stressed over their own situations, such discussions can erupt into family disagreements about obligation and duty, guilt and money. These can be challenging times for even the best of families. There are some things that you can do to help yourselves survive these times.

We recommend these tips for maintaining a peaceful environment:

• Show respect for each other — let each person have an opportunity to share their ideas and concerns

• Have an open mind — agree that times are tough and creative options may need to be considered

• Maintain composure – avoid hysterical reactions so that all parties can stay focused

• Don’t hesitate to present your ideas and thoughts – sharing any suggestions will help you to feel involved

• Stay positive – remember that you are all inter-connected

• Keep your sense of humor-these are not easy times but a little well-placed humor can go a long way to help everyone keep their perspective.

Even in the best of times, families may not always be able to speak with each other effectively. This becomes more difficult during tough times. It may seem easier to avoid these issues, yet “sweeping things under the carpet” may prove harmful.

When conflicts persist and productive communication is not happening, an elder mediator may be able to help the family resolve issues by facilitating difficult conversations. As an impartial third-party, a mediator helps the group establish ground rules that ensure that all parties respect each other and have a chance to share their thoughts. Disagreements may stem from misunderstandings about the need for care, the cost of care or the options for care. Through the elder mediation process, new ideas are often generated that consider everyone’s concerns. Elder mediators are well-versed in issues that affect families/older adults and can offer clarification and/or direction to appropriate resources, as appropriate.

Article by Debbie Reinberg

Having an Advance Care Plan in Place

Filed under Friends & Family

The United States population is rapidly aging. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), by 2030, the number of Americans aged 65 and older will more than double to 71 million older Americans, comprising roughly 20 percent of the U.S. population.

Many chronic diseases unfortunately can eventually exhaust all reasonable medical approaches and the patient and family must then navigate this final but important stage of life. Heart failure is one of those chronic diseases which can lead to the need for end-of-life discussions including an advance care plan. The Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA) has put together information on advance care planning to provide not only grace and dignity for the patient, but to help ease the burden of the family.

A good place to start is with an understanding of what such a plan entails. It is basically a written document that helps you ensure that your health care is customized to reflect your personal preferences and health needs, as well as meet your social, cultural and religious requirements. Important things to consider include:

• Whether you want to be resuscitated if your heart stops beating;

• If you want to be placed on a ventilator if you can’t breathe on your own; and

• How you want pain relieved if it develops.

“Discussing end of life issues is not exactly something any of us wants to bring up, but telling people what you want before you become incapacitated ensures that your wishes will be carried out, and protects your family from having to deal with the burden of second guessing whether or not you’d agree with their decisions,” says Barry H. Greenberg, MD, president, Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA), a non-profit organization of health care professionals and researchers who are dedicated to enhancing the quality and duration of life for patients with heart failure and preventing the condition for those at risk.

The HFSA has put together a booklet (Advance Care Planning) focusing on end-of-life issues. This information, which targets heart failure patients, can also be applied to other chronic medical conditions. The booklet explains, in easy to read and understand detail, the various components of an advance care plan, and how to put one together. These include:

• An advance care directive — This document will provide clear evidence of your wishes regarding treatment and can include a living will, a durable health care power of attorney and a statement about organ donation.

• A do-not-resuscitate order — This directive made by you or your family in consultation with the doctor, tells doctors, nurses and other rescue personnel what they should or should not do when a person stops breathing or when their heart beats so irregularly as to threaten life or stops beating entirely. A do-not-resuscitate order can include instructions on whether to use different types of methods to revive a person.

• A living will — This legal document lets a person who is unable to participate in decisions about their medical care to express their wishes about life-sustaining treatment. A living will is usually used during a terminal illness when a person is unable to communicate; it lets you set limits on what is done to you regarding the use of medical treatments such as CPR, blood transfusions, mechanical breathing, surgery, antibiotics, kidney dialysis and invasive measures to provide nutrition and fluids.

• A health care power of attorney — This allows someone you designate to make all heath care decisions for you, including the decision to refuse life-sustaining treatment if you are unable to make the decision for yourself. You can give someone a general power of attorney or you can limit their decision-making to certain issues by including instructions about your care. For example, you can specify preferences regarding particular treatments such as tube feeding, intravenous fluids and organ donation if you have not covered those subjects in a living will.

• A financial plan — You and your family may have concerns about paying for medicines, doctor and hospital bills and other types of health care. A financial plan can help you deal with these issues and also provide for your family.

Once you’ve pulled these materials together, you may wish to consult a lawyer to help you ensure that the plan meets your individual wishes and state legal requirements. And be sure that your family knows and understands your wishes for care.

Discussing these issues now will make implementing them easier when that becomes necessary. To order a copy of the brochure, or access any of the other educational materials put together by the Heart Failure Society of America, log on to

Article courtesy of ARAcontent

Baby Boomer Grandparents

Filed under Friends & Family

Baby boomers seem to be ever youthful. They also have a great passion for living. They seem to have arrived on earth with a vision and a mission of creating a different type of society. Baby boomers have exhibited immense initiative in all aspects of life, and their activities have had a great impact on American society, so much so that the America of today does not even remotely resemble the America of the fifties or sixties.

Life has challenged baby boomers in a number of ways. Baby boomer parents created a different type of bond with their children. They participated in the lives of their kids more than any generation of the past. Baby boomer parents tried to be not only a parent, but also best friends to their children. Though the results of this are not completely positive, children did value family life and emulate the qualities of their parents much more than the younger generations of the past did. For baby boomers, parenting was a great mission.

When baby boomers became grandparents, they understood the meaning of having grandchildren. This generation, which had resisted the onset of adulthood itself, must have found it difficult indeed to accept the realities of aging. However, they quickly accepted the roles of wise and kind grandparents. They played a great role not only in the lives of their grandchildren, but also in the lives of their children by offering their insight and guidance on various matters related to life.

Children view grandparents differently. They love grandparents and enjoy any opportunity to visit them even if it is for the simple reason that grandmother had baked a fresh batch of cookies. Sitting on grandfathers lap and listening to his stories or simply enjoying his company is a part of childhood that all children enjoy and cherish in their memories when they grow up. Even baby boomer grandparents enjoy these moments of intimacy with their grandchildren.

Somebody had once written a book titled If I Knew Being a Grandparent Was This Much Fun, I Would Have Done it First. In many ways, being a grandparent is a much more fulfiling experience than being a parent. Children enjoy listening to the wise words of their grandparents. Life with grandparents also makes them feel secure, something that life with parents doesn’t. On the laps of grandparents, grandchildren learn that it is possible to achieve success in life and that the fun does not cease even when you are old and a grandparent. Children inuitively know that there a number of life values and lessons to be learnt on the laps of grandparents. Throughout their lives, they nurture the lessons thus learned from an elderly person.

Baby boomers enjoy this new role just as they enjoyed their role as parents. They accepted the challenge of parenthood with a passion that almost redefined the concept of parenting. They have brought that same passion to their role as grandparents. Baby boomers can transmit their passion for life, their love and commitment for family life to their children and grandchildren. Thus they become the greatest gift a child can ever have, a wise grandpa and grandma who not only love them, but are also great fun to be with.

As baby boomer grandparents, the time you spend with your grandchildren is a wonderful time to pass on the wisdom of half a century to the younger generation. Children need their parents guidance and knowledge; simultaneously, parents also tend to be teachers and strict disciplinarians. Relationship with grandparents is much easier and stress free, and children can really open themselves to their grandparents. No wonder they view grandparents as sources of love and wisdom.

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

Filed under Friends & Family

Over 2 million grandparents in the US are raising their grandchildren. While there may be much joy and satisfaction, there are also many challenges that grandparents face.

Legal Status

You need to look into your legal status when you are raising a grandchild. Without legal protection, you may have a hard time getting healthcare, schooling, or financial assistance. Some legal options include adoption, legal custody, or guardianship.

Adoption: Adoption cuts off all of the birth parents’ rights and responsibilities. The grandparent becomes the parent in the eyes of the law.

Legal custody: When you get a custody order from the court, you are responsible for the child’s day-to-day care. Custody is granted based on the best interests of the child. A custody order is never permanent. The parents continue to have legal rights, such as the right to visit the child – unless a judge denies or limits the visits. You may still need parent’s permission to make medical decisions or to enroll the child in school. Parents could regain custody again some day.

Guardianship: Being a legal guardian allows you to make important decisions for the child. You can enroll the child in school and give permission for a doctor to treat the child. A birth parent can go to court and ask for the guardianship to be ended. If this happens, the care and custody of the child is returned to the parent. Ask a lawyer to help you decide what legal status is best for you and your grandchild.


The costs of raising grandchildren will affect your finances. It may change plans you have made for yourself such as retirement or vacations.

Government assistance may help cover food, housing, clothing, and mental healthcare. For example, your grandchildren may be eligible to receive a Social Security if they have a disability or if their parent has died. Your grandchild may qualify for your state’s Children’s Health Insurance Program. He or she may be eligible to get money from your state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program.

Each state has their own programs for assisting children. Contact the state Department of Human Services or Social Services to find out what is available in your area. It is important to look into programs that can help with financial burdens. Using up savings and trying to work while caring for young children can be a strain that many grandparents cannot manage for long.


Your home may seem too crowded after grandkids move in. Some apartments and senior communities do not allow young children. You may need to move or look into other options to best meet the needs of your new living situation.


Check with your local school to find out how to enroll your grandchild. Some states won’t let you enroll a child unless you have legal custody or guardianship. In other states, you only need to show that your grandchild lives with you. After your grandchild is enrolled, get to know the child’s teacher.


Children need regular check-ups and immunizations. Many times, children may have mental or physical health problems that need special care. You may be able to get help from your state’s Medicaid program. Medicaid pays heath care bills for people with low incomes.

You also need to take care of your own health. Take time each day to relax. Get regular checkups and take your prescribed medicines. Ask for help from friends and relatives. Join a support group.

Dealing with birth parents

Depending on the situation, you may be very angry and have lost respect for your child. It may not be easy to help your own child while trying to take over the care of your grandchildren. However, for the sake of your grandchild, try to keep the lines of communication open to the parents. If there is concern about harm to your grandchild, make sure that you take precautions and follow the court’s orders to allow only supervised visits. Do not put your grandchild at risk.

Dealing with kids

The children may worry about their parents, feel guilty because they fear that they caused the parent’s problems, or be scared that something might happen to you.

You may feel sorry for your grandchildren. It may be hard to say “no” or set limits. Or you may feel like you have to be stricter than you were with your child, so that your grandchildren will not have the same problems. You may wonder where you will find the energy to help children with their school work or to attend school activities.

The main thing to remember is that there are organizations and people who understand what you’re going through and want to help.

Ways to Remain Connected During Retirement

Filed under Friends & Family

One of your biggest fears of retirement may not be giving up the hustle and bustle of the working world but remaining socially connected. After all, with your coworkers, you have likely made some close personal friendships. You likely treasure them and consider them as closer (if not closer) than your family members and other friends outside the work force.

Well, we’re here to tell you that you don’t need to feel this way. You can still maintain these friendships and develop new friendships as well. You can stay socially connected during retirement and don’t have to alienate yourself. To do so, you simply have to be willing to put forth the effort. In this article, we’ll discuss 10 proven ways to stay connected during retirement.

• Stay in touch with ex-colleagues  There’s no getting around it, your coworkers are important to you and therefore you should stay connected to them. Make sure that you contact them by phone or meet your friends for lunch dates. Not only will this keep your connection strong but it will also ensure that you remain up to date on past work happenings and keep your friends from work.

• Create meaningful relationships  Besides ex colleagues, now is the time to create new meaningful relationships. To do this, you should connect with family, friends and neighbors too. Perhaps you can engage in after-retirement activities that will enable you to improve these relationships.

• Foster relationship with your spouse  Now that you’re retired, you should have more time to spend with your spouse. Take some time to get romantic with them. See if the two of you can re-spark a flame or perhaps develop mutual interests.

• Build a strong social network  This can be accomplished by volunteering at your favorite non profit organization, enrolling in a class, or joining a group.

• Join clubs  You can connect with like-minded people by joining a club or a social group. Just make sure that it is an actitivy that you would enjoy and will get excited about.

• Participate in community service  You can remain connected to people of various dimensions by assisting with some community service projects. For instance, perhaps you can arrange to clean up the parks on Earth Day or participate in the Why Me Cancer Walk.

• Participate in volunteer work  Join a worthy cause to be in touch with people. Try to help the deprived and lesser privileged. Alternatively, you can spread awareness about the burning issues that concern people around you. It will be an enriching experience for you too.

• Explore a hobby  In exploring this hobby, join a group of people who also have this interest such as a knitting club or ski club. This will increase your interaction with people with similar interests.

• Re-educate yourself  Participate in classes that you can learn something new with other people. Make sure that you keep a positive and friendly attitude and you’ll meet new people all the time.

• Connect with family  This is a wonderful way to remain connected with your children, and your grand children, with whom you may not have fostered a close relationship during your working life. You can’t start any sooner, so cease the moment right now and you’ll be happy that you took the time.

In conclusion, you can remain connected during retirement. You simply have to be willing to connect with family, re-educate yourself, join a hobby, participate in community service activities, volunteer, join clubs, build a new network, stay in touch with ex-colleagues, foster relationships with your spouse, connect with family, and create meaningful relationships.

Article by Dr. Cynthia Barnett 

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