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|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
|September 09, 2004
||Contact: AoA Press Office
The Administration On Aging Honors Grandparents Day
This year the U.S. Administration on Aging (AoA) honored Grandparents
Day on Sunday, September 12 by highlighting the important role
that grandparents play in their families and by spotlighting
the stories of several dedicated grandparents that receive assistance
through AoA’s National Family Caregiver Support Program
(NFCSP). Not only do grandparents play an important role within
their families, sometimes they may find themselves back in the
role of raising young children due to a sudden unfortunate event
or set of circumstances involving the natural parents.
According to the U.S. Census 2000, approximately six million
children across the country are living in households headed by
grandparents or other relatives. During the past 25 years, the
number of children being raised by someone other than a parent
has increased dramatically. Since 1990, the greatest increase
has been in the number grandparent-maintained households without
either parent present.
“Grandparents with responsibility as primary caretaker
for their grandchildren represents a cadre of unsung caregivers
who are responsible for the basic needs such as food, shelter,
and clothing for their grandchildren,” said Josefina G.
Carbonell, AoA’s Assistant Secretary for Aging. Of these
caregivers, 1.5 million are grandmothers and 900,000 are grandfathers.
This role requires special coping skills for handling family
crises involving three generations – themselves, their
children and the grandchildren.
"Whether spoiling a grandchild during a visit or providing
full-time care to a grandchild whose parents are unable or unwilling
to do so, grandparents play a unique and invaluable role in American
families,” said Donna M. Butts, Executive Director of Generations
United in Washington, DC. “They provide an incredible service
to our country providing the roots and wings children need to
The NFCSP, a program of AoA, helps caregivers obtain vital information
and supportive services in their community. NFCSP is administered
through the National Aging Services Network, which includes 56
State Units on Aging; 655 Area Agencies on Aging; 244 tribal
organizations and about 30,000 local service providers.
AoA honors today’s grandparents by sharing the individual stories of
six grandparents identified by NFCSP grantee organizations.
Frank and Francisca Colores have participated in the
United Cerebral Palsy of Southern Arizona’s Aging Caregivers
and the Exceptional Child (ACE) project during the last two years.
The Colores’ took four children into their home because
their mother was involved with substance abuse and eventually
left the city.
Shig Kihara is a grandfather of three children and
an infant. He also is a caregiver for his 92 year-old mother.
At the time of this interview, Mr. Kihara just finished his weekly
route as a volunteer escort for Asian Community Center (ACC)
Rides, a para-transit program for older adults operated by the
ACC in Sacramento, California.
Jesse Williams, aged 82, cares full-time for her seven-year-old
great granddaughter Dorese, whose mother passed away during childbirth.
She also provides childcare for her three-month-old great-granddaughter
while the mother works a swing shift. Mrs. Williams receives
help from a grandparent support group called Grandparents Offering
Love and Discipline (GOLD) that meets once a month in her hometown
of Danville, Illinois.
Albert Garcia, from Rochester, New York, assumed responsibility
for his granddaughter Renee, aged 12 almost seven years ago.
The courts awarded him custody of Renee since the parents were
not able to care for her. It has not been an easy road for Mr.
Garcia, but he has stayed committed to doing his best for his
Grace Broken Leg, a 78-year-old great-grandmother living
on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota, is raising her thirteen
great-grandchildren and participates in the Native American Caregiver
Support Program. She wants the best for her great-grandchildren
and encourages their education.
Loretta Hollow Horn Bear Iyotte also participates in
the Rosebud Reservation Native American Caregiver Support Program.
She is 79 years old, and is raising her five grandchildren. She
has recently adopted her 14-year-old grandson through the Indian
Child Welfare Act program.
For detailed stories about these six grandparents visit the
AoA Website: Grandparents