This is a guest post from Age Scotland’s Claire Connachan to coincide with the launch of the #theyregrand campaign.
Grandma, Nana, Oma, Granny, Gramma and Nanny are just a few names for a grandmother. How about Granddad, Pappy, Gramps or Grandpa? The words reflect just how flexible and varied the role of a grandparent is in today’s world.
As the national charity for older people, Age Scotland recognises the contribution of grandparents both to their families and society as a whole. The roles that they encompass are wide-ranging and can play a large and very important part in their grandchildren’s lives.
Unpaid caring duties, emotional support and financial help are only a few of the many ways in which grandparents enrich the wider family. There’s no doubt that the dedication of many grandparents in Scotland needs to be afforded greater recognition and commended.
Grandparents are a vital source of childcare for many parents. Grandparents often step into parenting roles (also known as kinship caring) due to death, divorce, money problems or drug or alcohol dependency. Kinship care is no walk in the park. Many grandparents give up their careers, are financially worse off and find that spare time becomes a distant memory.
Age Scotland is committed to addressing the needs of kinship carers, and in its five-year public policy agenda identified the need to reduce carer poverty, increase breaks and leisure opportunities and improve carers’ physical and mental health and well-being.
The Age Scotland Helpline (0845 125 9732) is a national helpline for those aged 50+ in Scotland as well as their families. This resource is available to kinship carers looking for information and signposting to support groups and services, and grandparents from any circumstance or background can also phone the helpline.
Relationships Scotland’s short online videos (Tilly’s video is below) have helped to capture the myriad of different stories, backgrounds and relationships that elders have with their families across Scotland. We join the charity in sharing and celebrating all that grandparents have to offer as part of our pledge to work towards making the nation a better place for all older people.
We hope you can join in the #theyregrand chat on Twitter today!