Some situations such as financial difficulties, death, illness and disability, divorce, and drug and substance abuse among others, lead to grandparents taking care of their grandchildren. Some grandparents prefer taking care of their grandchildren, when the children face the possibility of being taken to a foster home. Some parents move in with their children and they help in taking care of them. Grandparents who support their children on a part time basis do not have as many problems and challenges as those grandparents who bear the full parental responsibilities. The situation becomes increasingly challenging if the grandparents have to work to provide for the children, or if it is a single grandparent taking care of the children. Low-income families also face many challenges, and they face difficulties when taking care of the children.
The article, “The Health and Well-Being of Grandparents Caring for Grandchildren” notes that grandparents who assist in raising their grandchildren face many difficult situations, and are likely to have more difficulty than grandparents without such responsibilities, because of the increasing demands of bringing up children and the physical demands of aging. The article notes that grandparents who are taking care of their children are more likely to be living in poverty, and have minimal education, although many of them are likely to be employed. Moreover, such grandparents come from low socioeconomic backgrounds, and they belong to minority groups.
Many people in their middle and older ages have multiple physical problems. The article notes that grandparents who raise their grandchildren have more physical and health problems than those grandparents without such responsibilities. They suffer from ailments and diseases such as asthma, diabetes, and heart diseases, at higher rates than their counterparts do. The poverty levels, and the low socioeconomic backgrounds among most of the grandparents taking care of their grandchildren, make it more difficult for them to afford basic services including medical services. Most of the grandparents are not in a position where they can afford proper medical checkups and treatments, whenever they become ill. Moreover, they are not in a position to improve their standards of living.
As noted, most of the grandparents who take up parental roles work in different capacities to help bring up their families. They cannot afford necessities such as elegant and luxurious motor vehicles. Most of the grandparents have to use the same old cars, they have used for a long time. This adds to the challenges and problems facing grandparents. Most of the grandparents taking care of their grandchildren are female. Female drivers are more vulnerable than their male counterparts do. Female drivers have higher chances of getting injuries, than their male counterparts are (Bose et al., 2011).
There is a need to examine the challenges and problems facing the elderly, especially those who are helping their children in parental responsibilities. They need help financially, because of the increased responsibilities. They have multiple physical and other health problems, and taking care of their grandchildren becomes more difficult for them. For the grandparents who have to work, some of them have to use old motor vehicles, which have mechanical problems. Female drivers are particularly vulnerable in cases of accidents. They have higher chances of getting injuries than their male counterparts do. There is a need to have a deeper analysis and consideration of such issues to lessen the burden of the grandparents.
Bose, D., Segul-Gomez, M., & Crandall, R. J. (2011). Vulnerability of female drivers involved in motor vehicle crashes: An analysis of US population at risk. American Journal of Public Health 101, (12), 2368-2373. Available at http://maloney.house.gov/sites/maloney.house.gov/files/Women’s%20Report.pdf
Population Reference Bureau. (2011). The health and well-being of grandparents caring for grandchildren. Today’s Research on Aging (23), 1-6. Available at http://www.prb.org/pdf11/todaysresearchaging23.pdf