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Grandparents have vital role ...

February 9, 2009 - Lee Smith
The Sentinel will publish a special section on Friday that focuses on senior citizens. I have to say that this year, one story struck me in particular. It involves the issue of grandparents caring for their grandchildren while mom and dad work. I think this is great for baby and grandparents, as well as mom and dad, who save on daycare costs.

Staff writer Kylie Saari refers to some Census Bureau information on this subject. I'm surprised more grandparents aren't caring for their grandchildren, but I suppose the distance between families takes its toll. But old-timers can tell you stories about how families (and neighborhoods too) used to be more close-knit, living in the same town, taking care of each other through the process of life, from birth to death. Now, we expect someone else to do it, from daycare providers to nursing home workers.

Yes, I understand that distance from family is appreciated. But it's not always ideal in terms of finances, time and effort, or simple support.

In any case, if you've read some of my blogs, you know I don't believe government is a very good or very efficient provider of services. For those who can, relying on family (or neighbors, community, charity) is far preferable in terms of actual caring (see Kylie's story Friday), financial efficiency and just plain decency to our families and to our fellow citizens, who then are not forced to pay for our existence.


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