No Retirement for These Seniors: Grandparents as Parents

Asbury Park Press

April 27, 2013

 

There is no quiet retirement for Patricia DeMarco, who rises before dawn to help care for her seven grandchildren. Her days are spent preparing meals, ushering children to activities and babysitting. “I got a full plate,” the 66-year-old grandmother said, while sitting in her Brick living room with five of her seven grandchildren. “There are days that are crazy. There are days when Grandma wants to move to Florida.” DeMarco is one of millions of grandparents in the United States living with grandchildren. In 2010, 10 percent — or 7.5 million — of children in the United States lived with a grandparent, according to the U.S. Census. In New Jersey, 127,890 children — more than 6 percent — lived in their grandparents’ households in 2010. DeMarco’s daughter’s divorce brought the grandmother, her daughter and five grandchildren under one roof. After the divorce, the grandmother purchased the house that they all now share, and her daughter went to work full time. (A number of groups offer support to the multigenerational families. AARP, the Brookdale Foundation Group, Casey Family Programs, CWLA, the Children’s Defense Fund, and Generations United have joined efforts to release state-by-state GrandFacts sheets.
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