Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

Care Connection plans to focus on its Grandparent Raising Grandchildren program under recently hired Family Caregiver Coordinator Tammy Wilkey.

Wilkey plans to begin a monthly Grandparents Support Group from 1 to 2 p.m. on Thursday, July 7. The group will meet at the Warsaw Senior Center but will also be available online via Zoom for those unable to attend in person. The group will also meet at 1 p.m. on Aug. 4 and Sept. 1.

An estimated 3 million older adults are raising their grandchildren in the United States, according to AARP.

Leading a Grandparents Support program will be more than just a job assignment for Wilkey, a 48-year-old single grandmother who is raising three grandchildren, a girl, 3, and boys, 5 and 6.

“It’s pretty rough sometimes,” said Wilkey. “In my situation, the boys have been through a lot. They don’t get to see their mother on a regular basis, and they do not understand why. That puts a lot of stress on the boys, and there are behavioral problems.”

Wilkey, who is based at the Warsaw Senior Center, will be available at 660-438-3300, extension 3, to provide information and assistance to grandparents raising grandchildren throughout Care Connection for Aging Services’ 13-county area.

The Grandparents Raising Grandchildren program is aimed at relatives who have the challenging task of caring for grandchildren younger than 18.

“I very much have struggled with finding the resources I needed,” said Wilkey, who has had guardianship of her grandchildren for three-plus years. “When I came to work at Care Connection, all these resources just fell into my lap. I think this information will be very helpful to other grandparents, if they just know the information exists.”

She pointed to University of Missouri’s ParentLink and Relatives as Parents Program (RAPP) as two examples of quality resources.

“There is some really good information on how to help grandchildren, how to take time for yourself, and how to relieve stress,” Wilkey said.

Wilkey will make herself available to grandparents for one-on-one support, information, and resources. To get information and/or join the support group, call Wilkey at 660-438-3300, extension 3.

The Grandparents Support and Family Caregiver programs are provided by Care Connection for Aging Services, a nonprofit area agency on aging serving people 60 and older. Care Connection operates 21 locations in these West Central Missouri counties: Bates, Benton, Carroll, Cedar, Chariton, Henry, Hickory, Johnson, Lafayette, Pettis, Saline, St. Clair and Vernon. Its mission is to provide opportunities to create positive aging experiences. For more information, visit or call 1-800-748-7826