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What can grandparents do when faced with raising grandchildren?

On Behalf of | Jan 29, 2021 | Child Custody |

Likely, most Tennessee parents raise their children to adulthood and then enjoy their later years, often as grandparents participating in their grandchildren’s lives from time to time, but not as their primary caregiver. However, more than two million grandparents nationwide have unexpectedly had to take on the role of full-time parent due to one or more unfortunate circumstances. Grandparents who find themselves suddenly becoming parents again may feel overwhelmed and worried and so could benefit from the following tips.

Financial and emotional support is available

First, grandparents are encouraged to explore support groups. Many are offered online or in-person, and these groups can offer people in this situation valuable information as well as a connection with others in a similar position. Grandparents can also look into financial assistance that may be available to them, such as Social Security, food stamps or programs like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. People wondering about their eligibility to receive government assistance can look at websites like BenefitsCheckUp for further information.

Appropriate housing is important

Grandparents should also think about their housing situation. For example, renters who currently live in an area not suitable for children may think about contacting their local housing office or grandparents’ support group to explore other rental options. As well, wherever they live, they need to be sure all areas of their home are safe for children, including electrical outlets, tub surfaces and the like.

Finally, grandparents should ensure they are looking after themselves as well, particularly since many people in this type of situation experience depression. Like any parent, grandparents caring for grandchildren are smart to arrange for regular breaks from their caregiving routine and find ways to relieve stress. Often, grandparents faced with unexpectedly raising a grandchild require legal advice. For example, many grandparents wish to take steps to become their grandchild’s legal guardian, and sitting down with an experienced family law attorney can help them understand their options moving forward.