Get free help preparing your taxes from AARP Foundation Tax-Aide. Find a location



The Surprising Caregiver: Your Grandchild

Young adults — even children — are helping with care

More grandchild caregivers are coming

Consider that people age 85-plus are the fastest growing segment (PDF) of the population, with their number expected to increase by about 50 percent by 2030 and triple by 2050, when there will be an estimated 19 million "oldest old."

Caregivers like Megan Gavin, 31, of Farmington, Conn., a Ph.D. candidate caring for her 102-year-old grandfather, will become more common. Gavin spends two weekends a month with John H. Rees, who cannot be left alone because of his frailty. But the family also cannot afford paid around-the-clock care. So Gavin, her mother and her aunt care for Rees.

While Gavin doesn't relish spending Saturday nights watching Suze Orman with her grandfather when she could be out with her peers, she feels blessed to be able to give back to a grandparent.

"This experience has given me so many ideas, like a 'care house' where my mother and her friends will live and my friends and I will pool our resources," says Gavin. "Our parents are going to need more care and assistance than we as a nation recognize."

You may also like: How to get paid for being a family caregiver. >>

Cynthia Ramnarace writes about health and families. She lives in Rockaway Beach, N.Y.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Resource Center

Find tools, work sheets and tips on how to plan, prepare and succeed as a caregiver. Select a Caregiving Resource Center topic from the drop-down menu below.

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Eye Med 4 Membership Benefit AARP Discount

Members save up to 60% on eye exams and 30% on glasses at LensCrafters.

Prescription medication spilling out of bottle

Members get a free Rx discount card from AARP® Prescription Discounts provided by Catamaran.

member benefit aarp hear usa

Members can save 20% on hearing aids with the AARP® Hearing Care Program provided by HearUSA.

Caregiving walking

Caregiving can be a lonely journey, but AARP offers resources that can help.