*** November 2010 ***
* E-zine *

This Month's Highlights:
· Children Raised by Grandparents
· Coverage for Heart Disease
· Steps to Prevent Dementia

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One child in 10 in the United States lives with a grandparent, a share that increased slowly and steadily over the past decade before rising sharply from 2007 to 2008, the first year of the Great Recession, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.

About four in ten (41%) of those children who live with a grandparent (or grandparents) are also being raised primarily by that grandparent,1according to the census data.

This figure--2.9 million children2?--rose slowly throughout the decade and it, too, spiked from 2007 to 2008. In that single year, there was a six percent increase.

The phenomenon of grandparents serving as primary caregivers is more common among blacks3 and Hispanics than among whites4 but the sharpest rise since the recession began has been among whites.

The number of white grandparents primarily responsible for their grandchildren rose by nine percent from 2007 to 2008, compared with an increase of just two percent among black grandparents and no change among Hispanic grandparents.

Almost half (49%) of children being raised by grandparents also live with a single parent. For about four in ten (43%) of these children, there is no parent in the household. About eight percent have both parents in the household, in addition to the caregiver grandparent.

Whether or not they live with and raise their grandchildren, being a grandparent is central to the lives of most older Americans, according to a 2009 Pew Research Center survey.

Just as the number of children being cared for by their grandparents has increased from 2000 to 2008, the corresponding number of grandparents serving as primary caregivers to their grandchildren increased eight percent, from 2.4 million in 2000 to 2.6 million in 2008.

Three percent of that increase occurred from 2000 to 2007, and five percent occurred from 2007 to 2008.

For the most part, grandparent caregivers have very limited financial resources. Nearly one in five (18%) are living below the poverty line,5 while 47% have household incomes that fall between one- and three-times the poverty line. In comparison, among the population ages 50 and older, eight percent are below the poverty line, and 32% are living on an income that is between one- and three-times the poverty rate.

From 2000 to 2008, grandparents with incomes between one- and three-times the poverty level have shown the largest increase (12%) in care giving for their grandchildren. However, much of the increase in grandparent care giving since the onset of the recession has occurred among grandparents who have incomes that are at least three times the poverty level.

Overall, grandparent primary caregivers are relatively young--more than two-thirds (67%) are younger than age 60, with 13% younger than age 45. This likely reflects the fact that younger grandparents are still physically able to take on the needs of grandchildren.

Some 62% of grandparent caregivers are female, and 38% are men. Two-thirds of grandparent caregivers are married, while 34% are not.

The plurality of grandparents who care for their grandchildren have been doing so for quite a long time. More than half (54%) report that they have been the primary caregiver to at least one grandchild for three years or more, and 23% have been the primary caregiver to a grandchild for between one and two years.

Grandparents Helping in Other Ways

Aside from the small but growing minority of grandparents who have primary responsibility for their grandchildren, how many grandparents help out at least occasionally with childcare? According to the 2009 Pew Research survey, among those ages 65 and older who have grandchildren, 39% say they have helped their adult children with childcare in the past 12 months. These grandparents are more likely to have given their adult children money over the past year (50%), and somewhat less likely to have helped their kids out with errands, housework or home repairs (31%).

grandparents graph

Among grandparents ages 65 and older, the percentage helping out their adult children by providing childcare for the grandkids declines steeply with age. Fully half of those in their 60s and early 70s (51%) say they helped with childcare in the past year. Among those ages 75-84, 30% did so, and among those ages 85 and older, the share falls to 19%.

Interestingly, more grandfathers than grandmothers say they have helped out with childcare in the past year. Among grandfathers ages 65-74, 57% helped out with the grandkids. This compares with 47% of grandmothers in the same age group.

Older adults are more likely than their younger counterparts to say grandparents helping with childcare is a responsibility. And among those with grandchildren, nearly four in ten (38%) feel this way.

Source: by Gretchen Livingston and Kim Parker, Pew Research Center September 9, 2010 Read more on this study at:

  1. Anyone who reported that they live with and are "currently responsible for most of the basic needs of their grandchild(ren) under the age of 18" is considered to be a primary caregiver grandparent.
  2. This is a conservative estimate, since only those under age 18 who were the children or grandchildren of the household head could be easily linked to grandparent caregivers. They account for over 95% of minors living in a household with someone who claims to be a grandparent caregiver.
  3. All references to whites, blacks, Asians and others are to the non-Hispanic components of those populations.
  4. The share of all children under age 18 who are cared for primarily by a grandparent was 4% in 2008. Among white children, 3% were cared for primarily by a grandparent. This number is 8% among blacks, 4% among Hispanics, and 2% among Asians.
  5. To put this in perspective, the poverty threshold for a family of two adults and two children in 2008 was $21,834 (see

See additional aging-related information here:

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The six-month anniversary (September 21, 2010) of the Affordable Care Act marks an important milestone for millions of Americans who have long awaited access to affordable, quality health care. Countless heart disease and stroke patients and their families will immediately benefit from the important insurance reforms that take effect on September 23. Among them are the ban on lifetime and unreasonable annual limits on care; the ban on denying coverage for children with pre-existing conditions; protections against termination of coverage when individuals get sick; enhanced availability of preventive services with no cost-sharing; and coverage for young adults up to age 26. In addition, the launch of the new Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plans is providing an indelible safety net to the thousands of Americans with pre-existing conditions who were previously denied coverage.

The American Heart Association welcomes this important milestone and has recently launched a series of online videos to help educate Americans about the new law and these health consumer and patient protections that will help them access essential health services without the risk of financial hardship or personal bankruptcy. The video vignettes feature heart disease and stroke patients asking some of the most common healthcare questions about the law. These videos can be found on the health care reform website

The recently released sobering data from the U.S. Census that an additional 4.4 million Americans lost their insurance coverage last year reminded us all that our health system was unsustainable and that enactment of reform was necessary. These early consumer protections and insurance reforms provide important relief for families nationwide. The association remains committed to working with Congress, the Administration and others to implement the Affordable Care Act and ensure that it fulfills the promise of accessible, affordable care to heart disease and stroke patients.

Learn more about heart issues and make donations at
Learn more about health issues at

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1. Coffee: Good and Bad
The health impact of coffee drinking has been the subject of an exhaustive number of studies. Unfortunately, as reported in the Wall Street Journal, the study results are a mixed bag.

Diabetes: Many studies find that coffee--decaf or regular--lowers the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, but caffeine raises blood sugar in people who already have it.

Cancer: Earlier studies implicating coffee in causing cancer have been disproven; coffee may instead lower the risk of colon, mouth, throat, and other cancers.

Heart disease: Long-term coffee drinking does not appear to raise the risk and may provide some protection.

Hypertension: Caffeine raises blood pressure, so sufferers should be wary.

Cholesterol: Some coffee--especially decaf--raises LDL, the bad kind of cholesterol.

Alzheimer's: Moderate coffee drinking appears to be protective.

Osteoporosis: Caffeine lowers bone density, but adding milk can balance out the risk.

Pregnancy: Caffeine intake may increase the risk of miscarriage and low-birth-weight babies.

Sleep: Effects are highly variable, but avoiding coffee after 3 p.m. can avert insomnia.

Mood: Moderate caffeine boosts energy and cuts depression, but excessive amounts can cause anxiety.

Source: WSJ research

So, just as your mother said, "All good things in moderation."

Find more health information at:

2. Steps to Preventing Dementia
While much research is yet to be done, findings to date indicate that the following steps may aid in preventing or delaying the onset of dementia:

  1. Keep your mind active;
  2. Be physically and socially active; (see
  3. Lower your homocysteine (folic acid, Vitamins B-6 and B-12 ) levels;
  4. Lower your "lousy" (LDL) cholesterol levels;
  5. Control your diabetes;
  6. Lower your blood pressure;
  7. Pursue education;
  8. Maintain a healthy diet;
  9. Get your vaccinations.

More details at

Learn more about aging processes at

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We present here some words from those with a birthday this month.

Al Michaels - "Those three words--Monday Night Football--resonate like no others."

Calista Flockhart - "I'm not particularly pre-occupied with the husband / baby thing. Besides, I have a dog."

Demi Moore - "The truth is you can have a great marriage, but there are still no guarantees."

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. - "We are what we imagine ourselves to be."

Leonardo DiCaprio - "If you can do what you do best and be happy, you're further along in life than most people."

More "Thoughts" at: get some books at

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1. Internet Buying Good Practices
As you get ready to buy gifts and other items online this holiday season it is advisable to revisit these Internet Buying Good Practices.

  1. Make sure the business is legitimate.
  2. Buy from reputable stores and sellers. If you have doubts, choose another company.
  3. Look for third-party seals of approval.
  4. Make sure the website uses encryption.
  5. Use a filter that warns you of suspicious sites.
  6. Keep your Web browser updated.

Visit our Senior Bazaar for gifts for Seniors

2. Finding Government Information
Are you looking for a place to get information about various federal benefits and services, such as Social Security and Medicare? If so, you might want to try the federal government ‘s telephone information service, 800-FED-INFO (1-800-333-4636). Its focus is to help people who are seeking an answer to just about any question regarding U.S. government benefits and services. Operators speaking English and Spanish are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time.

Here are some of the topics that are covered.

  1. Social Security Administration (SSA)
  2. State and Territorial Governments
  3. State and Territorial Fish and Wildlife Agencies
  4. Passports: Renewing a Passport Book or Card
  5. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
  6. Food Stamps
  7. Housing Assistance: Purchasing
  8. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
  9. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
  10. Tax "Rebates" for Americans
  11. U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)
  12. State Vital Records Offices

Visit for more information.

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E. OH MY AGING FUNNY BONE is pleased to welcome a weekly Seniors cartoon to our site. The artist, Larry Lewis, wrote and drew the daily and Sunday comic strip "Campus Clatter," distributed for seven years by the Newspaper Enterprise Association. A cartoonist and commercial artist for more than 60 years, his cartoons have appeared in many national and regional newspapers and magazines. The cartoon may be found at . Don't forget to visit each week.

1. TV Shows of Days Gone Bye:

Here some of the shows that we followed in the day:

TV Shows of Days Gone Bye
My Friend Flicka
Captain Kangaroo
My Three Sons
Name That Tune
Dark Shadows
Northern Exposure
Dragnet NYPD Blue
I Dream of Jeanie Petticoat Junction
Emergency! Romper Room
Fantasy Island Room 222
Flipper Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In
Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. Star Trek
Gunsmoke The Courtship of Eddie's Father
Have Gun, Will Travel The Ed Sullivan Show
Hazel The Flintstones
Howdy Doody The Love Boat
Lost in Space The Magic Garden
M*A*S*H The Munsters
Mickey Mouse Club The Rifleman
Man from U.N.C.L.E. Wild Kingdom (Marlin Perkins)

2. More Donations

Father O'Neal answers the phone.
"Hello, is this Father O'Neal?"
"It tis!"
"This is the IRS. Can you help us?"
"I can!"
"Do you know a Sean Flanders?"
"I do!"
"Is he a member of your congregation?"
"He is!"
"Did he donate $10,000 to the church?"
"He will!"

"Oh My Aging Funny Bone" is at:

This issue has been edited by Betsy Day ([email protected]).

Copyright 2010, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Information in this document is subject to change without notice. Other products, service and companies named herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies or mark holders and are solely responsible for the content of their articles. Articles are included for informational purposes and are not an endorsement.

This Copyright E-zine may be forwarded to others only if sent in its entirety. Other uses are subject to written permission of the publisher.

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