Welcome to Vilas County Commission on Aging

The Vilas County Commission on Aging provides supportive and advocacy services to county residents 60 and older to meet their community needs.

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

Vilas County Commission on Aging is committed to helping older adults in Vilas County who are raising their grandchildren.
Program Facilitators:

Kathy Thompson


Jenette Jones
UW-Extension Family Living Agent
330 Court Street
Eagle River, WI 54521

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Gatherings will provide opportunities for grandparents (and other relative caregivers) and grandchildren to:

  • Connect with other grandparents with the same needs, interests, concerns.
  • Gain support by sharing feelings with others who are having similar experiences.
  • Meet in a safe environment that is non-judgmental and supportive.
  • Learn and enrich their lives through informational sessions and idea exchange.
  • Give input to develop resources and programs to meet the needs of grandparents raising grandchildren.
  • Become more informed about issues and resources affecting grandparents who raise grandchildren.
  • Make new friends (both grandparents and grandchildren).
  • Have fun!!

  • Gatherings are held quarterly and include speakers and support time for adults; activities and networking time for children.

    Across the country, the number of grandchildren living with grandparents, with no parent in the household, has grown 51 percent from 1990 to 2003, from 935,000 to 1.42 million. (Waldrop, D., & Weber, J. A. (2001). From grandparent to caregiver: The stress and satisfaction of raising grandchildren. Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Human Services, 82, 461-472.) In Wisconsin, 55,983 grandparents live in households with one or more grandchildren younger than 18. A parent or parents may also live in these households. However, 23,687 Wisconsin grandparents (42 percent) are their grandchildren’s primary caregivers, providing food, shelter, clothing and day care, and sometimes making sure medical and schooling needs are met. Some children live in households headed by other relatives such as aunts, uncles or siblings over 18. In Vilas County 238 children live with relatives, including grandparents; 78 grandparents live with grandchildren and are responsible for their care. (Source: Simmons, T. & Dye, J.L. (2003). Grandparents Living with Grandchildren: 2000. Population figures based on 2000 U.S. Census data.)