Grand­par­ents Dayi a hol­i­day largely un­known and of­ten for­got­ten

North Penn Life - - OPINION -

Did you for­get the most im­por­tant hol­i­day of the year? It was ob­served last Sun­dayI Sept. 9I as it has been for PP years.

Na­tional Grand­par­ents Day wDV fiUVW FHOHEUDWHG LQ 1979, three days af­ter Pres­i­dent gimmy Carter signed a procla­ma­tion. Sad­lyI most peo­ple do not re­al­ize such an im­por­tant hol­i­day even ex­ists.

The United States never for­gets jother’s Day and cather’s Day. Grand­par­ents Day comes and goes each year with lit­tle recog­ni­tion de­spite the ef­forts made by jar­ion jc­nu­adeI who be­gan a cam­paign to ob­serve GUDQGSDUHQWV DDy EDFN LQ 1970. She was a res­i­dent of Oak eillI W. sa.Iwhere she brought at­ten­tion to the needs of peo­ple liv­ing in nurs­ing homes. And she worked hard to get recog­ni­tion for grand­par­ents.

When jc­nu­ade ran into a world of in­er­tiaI she took her case to the me­dia. She re­ceived the at­ten­tion of Pres­i­dent Carter who signed a procla­ma­tion on 6HSW. 6, 1979.

Grand­par­ents Day EHFDPH RI­fiFLDO RQ WhH fiUVW 6XQGDy DIWHU LD­bor Day and it is still ob­served on that day. ,Q 1989 RQ WhH 10Wh DQniver­sary of the be­gin­ning of Grand­par­ents DayI the U.S. Postal Ser­vice hon­ored jc­nu­ade with a com­mem­o­ra­tive en­ve­lope re­sem­bling her.

jc­nu­ade passed away at the age of 91. She had 15 chil­drenI 4P grand­chil­dren and 15 great-grand­chil­dren. In­ter­est­ing­lyI SP per­cent of grand­par­ents are of the opin­ion that they are bet­ter at car­ing for their grand­chil­dren then they were at rais­ing their own chil­dren. In the United StatesI the life of a grandparent is dif­fer­ent from what it was in past JHQHUDWLRQV. TRGDy, 70 per­cent of grand­par­ents see their grand­chil­dren at least once a week. In the past they of­ten lived to­gether or close by.

Ac­cord­ing to the U.S. Cen­sus BureauI the to­tal num­ber of chil­dren in the United States is 75 PLOOLRQ. 2I WhHVH, LQ 2010, 7.5 PLOOLRQ FhLO­dren were liv­ing with a grandparent. Grand­par­ents who had a grand­child un­der the age of 18 yHDUV OLvLQJ wLWh WhHP LQ 2009 QXPEHUHG 6.7 PLOOLRQ. AQ XSVHW- ting statis­tic re­veals that a halfmil­lion grand­par­ents who were liv­ing and car­ing for a grand­child had an in­come be­low the poverty level. Nearly 1.S mil­lion grand­par­ents who had to take care of the ba­sic needs of their grand­chil­dren also worked. There were 700,000 JUDQGSDUHQWV whR hDG D dis­abil­ity and also had to care for their grand­chil­dren.

ThH GLI­fiFXOW OLIH IRU JUDQGSDUents and grand­chil­dren oc­curs DFURVV APHULFD. ,Q 2009, 4.5 mil­lion chil­dren lived in grand­par­ents’ homes. Nearly 1 mil­lion grand­par­ents have been tak­ing care of grand­chil­dren for more WhDQ fivH yHDUV.

Grand­moth­ers pro­vid­ing care for grand­chil­dren num­ber 1.S PLOOLRQ whLOH 983,000 JUDQGIDthers pro­vide a home and food for a grand­child.

One-third of all grand­chil­dren live with­out a par­ent at home.

There are 5S mil­lion grand­par­ents in the United States. The num­ber of grand­par­ents liv­ing in the same house as grand­chil­dren has in­creased to S.O mil­lionI an in­crease from 5 mil­lion LQ 2000, DFFRUGLQJ WR WhH 8.6. Cen­sus Bureau. In the United StatesI the South has the high­est per­cent­age of grand­par­ents who are care­givers of grand­chil­dren.

The North­east sec­tion of the United States has the low­est per­cent­age of grand­par­ents who take care of grand­chil­dren.

AOWhRXJh 150 PLOOLRQ MRWher’s Day cards cheer up a mother or grand­mother and 95 mil­lion cather’s Day cards are sent or de­liv­eredI only P mil­lion Grand­par­ents Day cards are given. eope­ful­lyI we’ll re­mem­ber to give a card next year on that Sun­day fol­low­ing ia­bor Day.

Health & Sci­ence Dr. Mil­ton Fried­man

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