Goulburn Valley grandparents are facing increased financial pressures after becoming primary caregivers for their grandchildren.June 9, 2014 4:30am
Goulburn Valley grandparents are facing increased financial pressures after becoming primary caregivers for their grandchildren.
Members of the Grandparents Support Group said many grandparents were only on the pension and some had even been forced to sell or remortgage businesses and houses to take on financial responsibility for their grandchildren.
One grandparent has even bought a caravan, financed from their pension, to assist with respite and care for their grandchildren and family members.
‘‘Financially it drains you. Children often need specialist or doctor’s appointments in Melbourne and grandparents are responsible for that,’’ group member Phame said.
‘‘I’d just retired and for three years I had to be a mother and all I wanted was to be a grandmother,’’ Sandra said.
A 2013 study by the University of New South Wales on grandparents caring for grandchildren found more than 70 per cent were financially disadvantaged and many relied on government support payments.
The report said many had to raise additional funds to pay for the grandchildren’s needs, by selling investments, drawing down savings, increasing their hours of employment or re-entering employment.
Many grandparents said it often took an extended time to get legal documents proving grandchildren were in their care, and without proper documentation it became even harder to claim care benefits.
‘‘Some parents have given up the care of the children to the grandparents and are still claiming the benefits,’’ Joan said.
Many said they’d encountered issues with service providers and organisations, and had trouble finding information about what their rights and benefits were.
‘‘Centrelink didn’t know how to deal with me .
‘‘I didn’t know which organisations I could go to for assistance,’’ Julie said.
Centrelink only introduced special grandparent advisers in October 2011 to help grandparents access payments and resources to assist them with caring for their grandchildren.
Grandparents say the financial stress also takes a toll on their physical and mental health. In the report, 62 per cent of grandparents said their health had deteriorated as a result of caring for their grandchildren.
Joan said a grandparent’s age often worked as a barrier, preventing them from interacting with other children’s parents.
‘‘You then become isolated. But support from the group helps, they understand exactly what you’re going through,’’ she said.
Members of the group encouraged any grandparents struggling with issues relating to raising grandchildren to come along to a meeting.
The group meets on the first Thursday of each month at 10
Steven James Bradley found guilty of murdering Michelle Buckingham
With her effective left hand in particular, Chelsea Hanley retained the Victorian Under 17 junior welterweight title last Sunday with a convincing points decision victory.
It has been a successful year for Bega Cheese, which reflects on Tatura Milk Industries, with chair Barry Irvin announcing recently that Bega Cheese’s normalised earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation was $55.7 million and normalised profit after tax of $22 million.
STUNNING rare footage of brolga chicks in the wild has highlighted the importance of being able to deliver environmental water to a swamp near Dingee.
TIMMERING Holstein breeders Scott and Nirrelle Somerville are thrilled with the announcement of their Holstein cow Somerelle Leader Lassco as the 2015 Australian Cow of the Year.
Great Race helps a great cause
Hundreds flock to Avenel to learn a thing or three.
Tocumwal Lions Club has plans to purchase the Bowling Club site for an aged care facility, which will only happen if the merger between the Tocumwal bowls and golf clubs proceeds.
A NASTY run-in with a kangaroo on the Northern Hwy between Melbourne and Echuca has convinced one regular traveller on the road the question of a cull needs to be addressed.
Three Cobram teens have been arrested by police after they allegedly stole tractors from Cobram and Tocumwal and caused about $30 000 in damage.
Deniliquin footballers Will Shaw and Cooper Wallace (pictured) have gone head-to-head with the state’s best at the recent AFL NSW/ACT Joss Under-14 State Zone Trials in Albury.
The Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) has acknowledged the completion of negotiations under the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), noting modest but important gains made for the Australian dairy industry in improving access to global markets.
Benalla banded together to raise $2000 for the Abolishing Injustice in the 21st Century (A21).
The News magazines are online - read high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for the latest editions.
Riverine Herald's well regarded locally produced magazines. They're now online, so you can read them whenever and wherever you like.
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.