Older Americans Month

May is Older Americans Month, a time to celebrate and recognize the contributions of older adults in our communities. This year’s theme, “Aging Unbound,” encourages us to rethink aging and the possibilities that come along with it. As Greenlight Family Services recognizes Older Americans Month, it’s important to highlight the contributions made and challenges faced by the incredible grandparents who are raising their grandchildren.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are nearly 2.7 million grandparents in the United States who are responsible for raising their grandchildren, with over 230,000 of them across Illinois. This number has been steadily increasing over the years, with many grandparents stepping up to provide a stable home for their grandchildren when their parents are unable to do so.

Raising grandchildren can be a challenging task for older adults, as they may face physical, emotional, and financial hardships. Many grandparents are living on fixed incomes and may struggle with the added expenses of raising a child. They may also face health issues that can make it difficult to keep up with the demands of parenting.

Despite these challenges, grandparents who are raising their grandchildren play a vital role in our society. They provide a stable and loving home for their grandchildren, and help to ensure that they receive the care and support they need to thrive. Grandparents also serve as role models for their grandchildren, imparting valuable life lessons and wisdom that can help guide them through life. That is why it is so important to provide the support these grandparents need to raise their grandchildren while aging with dignity and respect.

“Authors Charles and Ann Morse said it best – ‘A child needs a grandparent, anybody’s grandparent, to grow a little more securely into an unfamiliar world’, states Dr. Maria Nanos, Greenlight CEO, “Hundreds of our clients would not be the people they are today without grandparents stepping up to fill important roles in their development.”

Greenlight partners with the Illinois Department on Aging and the Illinois Bar Foundation to remove barriers and ensure access to care for all grandparents raising their grandchildren in Illinois. Through Greenlight’s Legal Adoption Aid Program, legal services are provided to this vulnerable population on a sliding scale or at no charge.

Team Greenlight will be attending the 23rd Annual Central Illinois Senior Celebration at the Illinois State Fairgrounds on May 17, 2023 and will be available to discuss these services in person. Read more about our services here.

For more information, call us today for a free consultation: 773-728-7800