Caregivers and the Evolving Family

The nuclear family is expanding. Three or more generations are now living under the same roof. Living with extended family members can promote close grandparent and grandchild relationships, and family togetherness on the whole.
 
Many grandparents even provide day care for grandchildren while the parents are at work. This evolving dynamic allows grandparent, parent and child to pool financial resources, which can be very helpful in difficult economic times.
 
The 2010 Census estimates a 30 percent increase in multi-generational homes in the United States since 2000. Santa Clara County is no exception with the largest concentration of multi-generational families in Milpitas (10.6 percent), San Martin (10.8 percent) and the Alum Rock neighborhood of San Jose (15.8 percent). Overall 6.7 percent of homes in California consist of multi-generational families, which is the second highest rate in the country. Both economic and cultural factors play a role in shifting demographics.
 
With the large numbers of multi-generational homes in the county, there are many caregivers sharing homes with care recipients. Tending to the needs of both parents and children can be difficult. While living with extended family can provide wonderful benefits, it is essential to remember to care for yourself too. Those caring for children and their aging parents, known as the sandwich generation, is an ever growing population as America’s baby boomers enter their golden years.
 
Resources are available to assist you. If you are in need of support or other resources for caregivers, call the Council on Aging Silicon Valley. We are here to help. For resources on in-home and away-from-home respite care, adult day care, support groups, and more call (408)350-3200, option 1. Our Information and Assistance specialists are here to help you find the answers you need.

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