Posts Tagged "grandmother"
March 7, 2023
Social Security in Multigenerational Families
It’s not unusual for Black and Latino children to live with their grandparents, who are either the primary caregivers or members of a multigenerational family.
And just as the grandparent is integral to the family unit, so are the Social Security benefits the grandparent receives and contributes to the household. The poverty rates in families with children would be much higher without the income from Social Security, according to new research on Wisconsin families.
Nearly two-thirds of the study’s families in which a grandparent is a child’s primary caregiver rely on Social Security retirement benefits, disability benefits, or the Supplemental Security Income program (SSI), which makes small cash payments to low-income retirees and the disabled.
Just under half of the three-generation households that include a grandparent get some income from Social Security.
The University of Wisconsin researchers confined their study to low-income families who are participating in state-run safety net programs such as food stamps, Medicaid, child support, and a caretaker supplement. They used state government data to draw a detailed picture of the grandparent families, whose income in 2019 ranged from about $33,000 when the grandparents are caregivers to $40,000 in multigenerational families. The families are more likely to be Black, Latino, and, in the case of three-generation families, Asian. The vast majority of the heads of household are women and frequently urban dwellers.
But the reason for the grandparents’ involvement and the importance of their financial support are different in each situation. Grandparents tend to be caregivers when the child’s parents are incarcerated, have substance abuse or mental health issues, or have died. These grandparents are a crucial, or the sole, source of financial support.
In three-generation households, they support the child’s parent or parents financially. But the working adults’ earnings are by far the most important source of family income. …Learn More
December 13, 2022
Retiring to Care for Grandchild isn’t Unusual
Retirement can change everything. So can grandchildren.
A new study that looks at the transitions made by older workers finds that the odds of relocating after they retire to be closer to their adult children increase from the pre-retirement years – 16 percent of recent retirees do so.
Some people make these moves, to within 10 miles of family, right around the time of retirement, but the relocations are still happening at least four years afterward.
A new grandchild provides an even more compelling reason to move at a time quality childcare is expensive and in short supply. In the study, the researchers found that one in 10 grandparents who, prior to retiring, already considered themselves caregivers for at least one child move closer to the child’s parents. That doubles to two in 10 after they retire.
The probability of making a move is “higher for older adults reporting grandchild care compared to their peers who do not provide such care,” conclude Megan Doherty Bea and Somalis Chy at the University of Wisconsin.
They tracked some 3,000 older workers’ answers to a regular survey during a 12-year period around retirement. The survey collected a range of personal data, including information about their finances, where they live, and whether they spend at least 100 hours a year taking care of grandchildren.
One curious aspect of this study is that retiring and moving doesn’t necessarily mean the person will simultaneously sign up for Social Security benefits, which raises the question of how the new retirees support themselves. …Learn More
October 25, 2022
Cut off from Grandkids, Depression Sets in
The purpose of the 2020 restrictions on older people’s activities during COVID – whether voluntary or government enforced – were crucial: keeping them alive as the deadly Delta variant raced through the population worldwide.
But saving lives came at the cost of grandparents’ mental health, according to a study in the Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences about grandparents in England.
In the scary early months of the pandemic, grandparents cut off or limited interactions with their grandchildren. In England, the grandparents who isolated themselves suffered more mental health problems, including bouts of depression, than the grandparents who maintained the same amount of contact with grandchildren as they’d had before COVID, the researchers found.
This isolation affected grandparents all over the world. American doctors warned older people against mingling with young family members, any of whom might be asymptomatic carriers of the disease. European governments imposed lockdowns or discouraged old and young from getting together. In Israel, the defense minister said, “the single most lethal combination cocktail is when grandma meets her grandchild and hugs him.”
The response by grandparents was echoed in a March 2020 article, “When Can I See my Grandkids?” The COVID-imposed isolation finally gave way to some normalcy after the older population got vaccinated at high rates.
But researchers said the pre-vaccine loneliness had an especially big impact on the grandparents of children under 15 who took the most dramatic step: cutting off all contact with them. Early in 2020, half of the English grandparents who had caregiving duties prior to the pandemic stopped interacting with the children. …Learn More
February 28, 2019
Depression Abates When Women Hit 60
Motherhood, career anxiety, menopause – women, throughout their lives, move from one psychological stressor to the next.
Well, ladies, there’s hope: your stress should start to ease around age 60.
With the #MeToo movement against workplace abuse of young adult women dominating the headlines, there’s a quieter movement of baby boomer women exploring what it means to get old. Book publishers are flocking to writers of self-actualization books like “Women Rowing North: Navigating Life’s Currents and Flourishing as We Age” and “50 After 50: Reframing the Next Chapter of Your Life.”
Perhaps publishers sense a market for these books because women of all ages suffer depression at rates two to four times higher than men. But a study in the journal Maturitas finds that many women shed their depression as they move from their mid-40s into their 60s.
To pinpoint individuals’ psychological changes over time, this study analyzed the group of women who participated in a telephone survey from beginning to end, 1992 to 2012.
The women, who live Melbourne, Australia, were asked a battery of questions to determine whether they were depressed – questions about whether they felt optimistic or discontented, socially engaged or lonely, impatient or cheerful, clear thinking or confused.
They were also asked whether they suffered from bad moods, which can be a precursor to depression. The researchers found that the women’s moods improved significantly as they aged. …Learn More