Millions of grandparents are helping to care for their grandchildren where a grandparent is the primary caretaker, forming “grandfamilies” in households across the country. In Connecticut, nearly 60,000 grandparents live with their grandchildren and play a primary role in their upbringing. Raising grandchildren is often a very rewarding experience for grandparents, but it can also come with emotional, physical, and financial challenges. View the tips and resources below that may help alleviate some of these challenges:
- Determine your eligibility for aid. Contact state and community agencies to find out more about government assistance and support. Community organizations will be able to provide you with detailed information about food programs, health care, legal services, and more. View United Way’s 2-1-1 Guide for Grandparents Raising Grandchildren in Connecticut
- Find ways to save money. Caring for children can be financially stressful, so having a savings for emergencies will help give you a peace of mind. View these Smart Saving Tips for Older Adults and contact local organizations that may be able to provide you with a free consultation. When it comes to filing taxes, adults who are raising children can apply for certain tax credits. Contact United Way to learn more about the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.
- Focus on your health. And the health of your grandchildren! Maintain a healthy diet at home, stay on top of any doctor’s appointments, and don’t undermine the importance of your mental health. Do what you can to relieve stress, get proper sleep, and seek support from family and friends for caregiving. Providing stability in the home will be a benefit to both you and your grandchildren.
- Seek out support, resources, and information. There are support groups and resources available to help with the challenges that “grandfamilies” might face, and connecting with other families in similar situations can have great benefits to help you get through any tough transition periods or difficult times. For information for grandparents raising grandchildren in Connecticut, contact the Area Agency on Aging in your area online or by calling 1-800-994-9422.
We hope these resources will help your grandfamily stay happy, healthy, and secure. Remember that you are not alone!
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