Who Don’t You See in this Picture?

By: Janie De Leon-Male, M.S.S., LSW

Here is our most recent family pic from September 2012, when we spent Leo’s third birthday at Dutch Wonderland Amusement Park in Lancaster, PA.


Romo, Leo and Janie Male

Who don’t you see in the picture? Leo’s grandparents.

Leo’s grandparents are always behind the scenes, and they are the reason why Romo and I are able to work our eight to 14 hour days.

According to Grandparents.com:

  • Grandparents represent one-third of the population with 1.7 million new grandparents added to the ranks every year.
  • 43% became grandparents in their fifties, 37% in their forties, with the average age of grandparents in this country at 48.
  • By 2010, more than 50% of the grandparent population will be baby boomers — by 2015, it will increase to nearly 60%.
  • 60% still have a full-time or part-time job.
  • 6.2 million — or 5.3% of all U.S. households — are now multigenerational — up from 5 million in 2000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau Current Population Survey.

It is important to be aware of the facts above when thinking about planning for your parents, i.e., your children’s grandparents.

What is important to them? Where do they want to live and how do they want to be cared for, when their own frailties prevent them from being able to care for our children? How do they want to continue contributing to their grandchildren’s success, even if they are no longer able to provide the day-to-day care?

When you ask Leo who his best friend is, he says, “Grandpa.” When you ask Leo who the “prettiest lady in the world is,” he says, “Grandma.” Leo is a caring, compassionate, joyful, and gentle three-year old because of the role his grandparents have played in his life, and Romo and I have already put a plan in place to ensure that his grandparents “age in place” with us.


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