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Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

By Helen Hunter, ACSW, CMSW

(Page 2 of 2)

Respite care is especially important for anyone who is serving as a caregiver, but even more so for an older person, who may have their own health issues to consider. Paying attention to their own health is critical for caregivers – if the caregiver becomes ill, who will then care for the dependent person? There are a number of formal services which provide respite care, and grandparents can also rely on other family members, friends or neighbors to give them a break from the daily demands of care. Finding time to get away is crucial to “recharging batteries,” so that the grandparent feels refreshed and is in the best optimum mental health needed to serve as a caregiver.

Taking time to eat a well-balanced diet, exercising regularly, getting plenty of sleep and getting regular check-ups from the doctor are paramount to making sure that the grandparent is in the best, optimum physical health. It is also important to remember to have fun! Humor is the spice of life. Everyone feels happier and healthier when they have a positive attitude and can find laughter and humor in daily life. Try it – you’ll see what I mean!!


Helen Hunter, ACSW, LSW, GCM is an independent geriatric social worker consultant and trainer and spiritual director. She is also a published author, focusing on elder care and family care issues. Licensed in the states of New Jersey, Florida, New York and Connecticut, she currently lives in Middlesex, New Jersey.

Helen is very grateful for having the love and support of her maternal grandparents, who lived with her family after her father died when she was a preteen. They served not only as mentors, but as teachers and supporters, always being present when needed. All grandchildren should be so lucky to have grandparents who were as loving and caring!



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