Family Caregivers Month honors grandparents raising grandchildren

posted Nov 16, 2015, 6:13 AM by Mary Peck

Oklahoma ranks second in the nation in the percentage of grandparents raising grandchildren. November is National Family Caregivers Month 2015 and honors this often-overlooked group of caregivers.

More than 67,000 grandparents in Oklahoma are helping raise their grandchildren, and 58% of those provide for the basic needs of the child. In an effort to help these people who are raising their grandchildren or some other minor relative, the SWODA Area Agency on Aging (AAA) has a respite care program that is designed to give them a chance to take a break.

Most grandparents raising grandchildren are between ages 55 and 64. Approximately 20% to 25% are over 65. To qualify for the respite care program, grandparents must be 55 or over and raising their grandchildren or some other minor relative, such as a niece or nephew. This program provides $500 in vouchers for them to take a break from raising their grandchildren.  They can use these vouchers to hire the sitter of their choice.

If you or someone you know could qualify for this program, contact Ada Vanderford, SWODA AAA Information and Assistant Specialist, at 1-800-627-4882, ext. 127.

These services are funded in part by state and Older Americans Act funds through SWODA AAA and DHS Aging Services.

It is policy of SWODA AAA to serve all individuals who are eligible for its programs without regard of race, national origin, ancestry, color, religion, gender, age or disability.

SWODA is one of 11 Councils of Government in the state. SWODA’s region of service includes municipalities, counties and conservation districts in Beckham, Custer, Greer, Harmon, Jackson, Kiowa, Roger Mills and Washita counties. 

SWODA was created to strengthen the economic and social development of the region through various specialized services such as the following: 911 Administration, Aging Services, Community and Economic Development, Geographic Information Systems, Rural Fire Defense and Workforce Development.