Providence Journal interviews Crittenden about grandparents raising grandchildren during COVID-19

The Providence Journal interviewed Jennifer Crittenden, associate director at the University of Maine Center on Aging, about the challenges grandparents who raise their grandchildren face during the coronavirus pandemic. Many grandparents have relied on school, Pre-K and daycare to provide care for their grandchildren while they worked, completed chores, or rested, according to the article. After these facilities shuttered for several months as a result of COVID-19, many grandparents have struggled with looking after and educating their grandchildren while also performing required daily tasks, especially when the outbreak limits their interaction with others who could provide support. Critteden said the pandemic has also heightened grandparents’ stress because the children they care for are often emotionally vulnerable because they typically come to live with their grandparents following loss or trauma. “So much of caregiver well-being is tied up with how the kids are doing,” she said. “If the kids aren’t doing well, the grandparents also worry. I see the emotional support needs of these families being that much more important during COVID.”