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Happy Grandparents’ Day!

If you’ve read my book, The Grandparent Economy, you know that my interest in the lifestage is both personal and professional. I was raised by my paternal grandparents from infancy. It was something of a novelty in the late 50’s and early 60’s. Today that is a much different story.

The origin of Grandparents’ Day

In the 70’s, Marian McQuade was a champion of intergenerational relationships, urging young people to adopt a grandparent and to have older adults in their lives. She encouraged West Virginia’s Governor to recognize an annual Grandparents’ Day. In 1973, Senator Jennings Randolph of West Virginia introduced a resolution to the senate to make Grandparents’ Day a national holiday. In 1978 President Jimmy Carter signed a proclamation making the first Sunday of September after Labor Day “National Grandparents’ Day.”

This proclamation cites the purpose, “”…to honor grandparents, to give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children’s children, and to help children become aware of strength, information, and guidance older people can offer”.

Grandparents Today

Nearly one third of all families in the US are grandparent households, largely due to the aging of the huge Baby Boomer population. Baby Boomers are a new breed of grandparents – more engaged and financially involved – maintaining their “helicopter” status well into grandparenthood.

The other side of the grandparent experience are grandparents who step in to raise their grandchildren, just as mine did more than 50 years ago. More than 2.5 million grandparents are raising their grandchildren. This transcends race and income. The growing numbers are largely due to extended deployments of parents, death of parents, and the opioid crisis. As the opioid crisis affects multiple generations, we are seeing an increase in great grandparents as the primary caregivers for children as well. Many older adults do this at the expense of their own health and retirement savings.

In May of 2017, Senator Susan Collins of Maine and Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania introduced the “Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act” with the support from 40 older adult and advocacy groups. This act was signed into law in July. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will coordinate the work of a Federal Advisory Council to provide resources and best practices to support grandparents and other relatives raising children. It’s a great start in providing for the physical and emotional well-being of these special families.

How to Celebrate Grandparents’ Day

I have some thoughts to share from a variety of my favorite organizations.

Bridges Together

In addition to Grandparents’ Day, it’s Intergenerational (IG) Awareness Month – a month set aside to raise awareness about and celebrate the benefits of intergenerational connections. Bridges Together invites you share your stories of intergenerational relationships:

Share the power of intergenerational relationships. Write a 500 word story, create a piece of art (visual or performing) and submit it to the Kraemer IG Story Contest.  The contest is now open and will remain open until Oct. 31.  Cash prizes will be awarded.  Read more and enter now!

Loved1

Do you have a grandparent or great grandparent living away from you and your family?
Loved1 delivers a gift box of thoughtfully curated products that focus on healthy living, quality of life, nutrition, and fun. You receive an email detailing the items in the box and an Engagement Guide to encourage great discussions and interactions with your family member.

GRAND Magazine

GRAND – the digital magazine for living the ageless life – is now available for FREE. If you are a grandparent, it is the ultimate guide to this stage of life. If you know a grandparent who would enjoy GRAND, subscribe for them as a gift! Check out GRAND’s site as well for more excellent information. To get your FREE subscription, click here!

Join me in Chicago at ASA’s Aging in America 2015 & What’s Next Boomer Summit

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I will be in Chicago from March 23rd through the 27th for a week-long conference with aging professionals from all over the world. I am delighted to be presenting a program on Grandparents and Intergenerational Trends for ASA’s Aging in America Conference. Christine Crosby, Founder of GRAND Magazine will be joining me on this program:

The Grandparent Economy: How Families Are Evolving in Unprecedented Times
Tuesday, March 24th 1-2 PM
For more information: http://www.asaging.org/aia Learn More →

Boomer Baby Radio with Barbara Beach

Last week at the AARP Life@50+ event in Los Angeles, I was interviewed by Boomer Baby Radio‘s host Barbara Beach, where we chatted about my role as the new Publisher of GRAND Magazine – and a new grandparent! Listen here.

Were you at AARP @50+ last week? What was your experience there?

Looking At Lucrative Lifestages: Engaging American Grandparents

The recent release of “The MetLife Report on American Grandparents,” by Peter Francese with MetLife Mature Market Institute, reveals the changing face of grandparents in the United States. It also provides a roadmap for companies with products and services for children. Increasingly, grandparents are helping young families financially navigate in this tough economic climate, paying for items essential to day-to-day life, and also looking forward to big-ticket items like tuition, cars, and college.

In 2010, there were an estimated 65 million grandparents in the United States alone; households headed by someone over the age of 45 accounts for 60% of the nation’s income. One in four adults in this country is a grandparent.

Today, a grandparent is the head of almost one in ten households and has a grandchild in residence. In spite of recent economic events, consumer spending in households 55+ has risen faster than any other age category, outpacing inflation. By 2020, projections reveal an increase to 80 million grandparents, one in three adults in the U.S.

Booming Grands: Younger, hipper more diverse grandparents

The majority of today’s grandparents are from the Baby Boomer generation; they appear more youthful, vital and active than grandparents of previous generations. In reality…

Learn More →

My New Role as Publisher of GRAND Magazine

With its latest September/October 7th anniversary issue being sent to subscribers today, GRAND Magazine, the digital magazine for Grandparents and their families, relaunches with a new focus on first-time Grandparents.

I am excited to announce my new role as Publisher of GRAND, as it is linked to my other exciting new role – as a first-time grandparent myself. I very much look forward to working with Christine Crosby, the Editorial Director, and Christine Bettencourt, Managing Editor, at GRAND Magazine. Christine Crosby was at the forefront by launching GRAND as a digital publication in 2007. As Christine has stated, now is the time when digital magazines are coming into their own. It is the direction in which publishing is heading, with its benefits for advertisers of the digital format, such as the multimedia features, and delivering the desirable profile of the digital magazine reader. They have appeal to consumers as a ‘green’ alternative to print, leaving a smaller carbon footprint that will benefit future generations, which is of particular importance to grandparents.

Learn More →