What's New in Aging: A new report and legislative action on grandparenting

There are nearly 68 million grandparents in the United States, and 9 percent of them live with their grandchildren.

Those are are among the findings in a series of reports about grandparenthood — using 2014 survey data — newly issued by the National Center for Family & Marriage Research at Bowling Green University.

The reports note it is much more common for younger grandparents than older ones to be living with their grandkids. Almost half of “resident grandparents,” as they’re called, were under age 60. The intergenerational living is also more common among ethnic groups other than white families, with Hispanics making up 27 percent of resident grandparents and blacks making up 18 percent of them.

Among those grandparents who are responsible for care of their grandchildren, 42 percent have been at it for more than five years.

It is actually almost as common for someone over age 40 to be a grandparent as not, with the 68 million who have that status representing 46 percent of the population 40 and older. If you’re age 65 or older, chances are three out of four that you have grandchildren.

More findings on grandparenthood are available from the Bowling Green research center’s website.

At the same time, the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee voted to support creating a federal task force designed to help grandparents who are raising grandchildren, whose numbers are thought to have grown due to the impact of the opioid epidemic on the children’s parents.

Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., is a co-sponsor of the measure, through which a task force would be charged with helping grandparents navigate the school system, plan for their families’ future, address mental health issues and build social and support networks. The Supporting Grandparents Raising Children Act, as its known, will now go the full Senate for consideration.

Gary Rotstein: grotstein@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1255.


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