If you are one of more than 100,000 grandparents in Illinois raising your grandchildren, you know the joys and the challenges that accompany this relationship. You experience the fulfillment of giving your grandchildren a sense of security, developing a close relationship, and keeping the family together. Yet, raising grandchildren can also bring along a range of social, legal and financial challenges, some of which may be difficult to navigate. There are several resources that can help:

Illinois Department on Aging – provides information about Grandparents Raising Grandchildren. This includes a pamphlet called “Grandparents and Other Relatives Raising Children”. Visit www.illinois.gov or call 1-800-252-8966, 1-888-206-1327 (TTY).

A Grandparent Information Center – provided by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), has resources to help grandparents cope with their primary role as caregivers. Visit www.grandfactsheets.org or call 1-888-687-2277.

Metropolitan Family Services DuPage – offers support groups for grandparents raising their grandchildren, in Wheaton on the 2nd and 4th Mondays from 6:30 – 8:00 pm. Light supper is offered at 6:00pm. Childcare is available, and social skills groups are provided for children ages 3-12. For reservations and information contact 630-784-4800. Or visit www.metrofamily.org.

Support Groups – join a support group where you connect with other grandparents who are in the same situation. You will be in a comfortable environment where grandparents discuss their personal experiences and offer one another emotional comfort and moral support. You will also get ideas on how to deal with legal, financial and health insurance matters connected with raising a grandchild and much more.

Support from family and friends – it is very helpful to develop a support system to help with the many tasks at hand. It is also important that you take good care of yourself so you can stay mentally and physically healthy to do the job.

Remember – you play a very important role in the life of your grandchildren, but you also need to take good care of yourself. When you take care of yourself, you can care for your grandchildren even better.

Hanna Benioff
Senior Services Coordinator
Phone: (630) 719-6682
Email: hanna.benioff@dgtownship.com

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