Grandparents play an important role in families passing along traditions and their wisdom to future generations. Grandparents Day was celebrated Sept. 8 and the month of September is now recognized as Kinship Care Month as increasingly, relatives, such as grandparents, are providing loving and stable homes to their grandchildren. Nationally, eight million children are raised in a family led by a grandparent.

In Ohio right now, nearly 100,000 grandparents are currently raising their grandchildren because their own parents are unable or unavailable to care for them.

Kinship families face many challenges such as separation or loss of a loved one, inadequate housing, fixed incomes that don’t meet the needs of a larger family, and kinship/grandparent caregivers perhaps not taking care of their own health as they try to navigate the increased demands in their lives.

The Area Agency on Aging District 7 (AAA7) offers the Caregiver Support Program for relatives raising children, such as grandparents. The program can provide assistance and support in finding resources, education including a class for caregivers, and in some circumstances, make small purchases to assist in the care.

Currently, the Caregiver Support Program at AAA7 is reaching out to kinship/grandparent caregivers through a survey to learn more about needs and how the Agency can help provide better support. The survey can be accessed on the Agency’s website located at www.aaa7.org and will be active on the website through October. There is a link to the survey straight from the Home Page.

If you are a kinship/grandparent caregiver or know someone who is, please take a few moments to complete the survey and provide feedback on what you need and what can help you best.

Not just in September, but all through the year, celebrate and support the dedication, love and determination grandparents bring to families in your community.

For more information concerning the survey or the Caregiver Support Program, call the AAA7’s Caregiver Support Program at 1-800-582-7277 or e-mail info@aaa7.org

Your local Area Agency on Aging District 7, Inc. provides services on a non-discriminatory basis. These services are available to help older adults and those with disabilities live safely and independently in their own homes through services paid for by Medicare, Medicaid, other federal and state resources, as well as private pay. The AAA7’s Resource Center is also available to anyone in the community looking for information or assistance with long-term care options. Available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., the Resource Center is a valuable contact for learning more about options and what programs and services are available for assistance.

Those interested in learning more can call toll-free at 1-800-582-7277 (TTY: 711). Here, individuals can speak directly with a trained Resource Specialist who will assist them with information surrounding the programs and services that are available to best serve their needs. The Agency also offers an in-home consultation at no cost for those who are interested in learning more. Information is also available on www.aaa7.org , or the Agency can be contacted through e-mail at info@aaa7.org . The Agency also has a Facebook page located at www.facebook.com/AreaAgencyOnAgingDistrict7

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