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Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Series: When Grandma Becomes Mama


Being a Grandmother is a wonderful benefit of aging. The experience is truly all that your friends told you it would be. When you didn’t think you could love anyone as much as your own children, your grandchildren come along and prove you wrong. You can spoil them and send them home, feed them junk food and cookies for dinner, snuggle and take time to play like you didn’t have time for when you raised your own kids. And the best part is that all those things that would have made you a bad parent then, make you an awesome, fun Grandma now.

But what happens when, for reasons beyond your own control, your find yourself moving from the role of Grandma to Mom? According to the Profile of Older Americans (2016), “approximately 1 million grandparents age 60 and over were responsible for the basic needs of one or more grandchildren under age 18 living with them in 2015. Of these caregivers, 593,495 were grandmothers and 429,377 were grandfathers” (pg. 15). The role change from Grandma to Mama is a significant one. The little one you have spoiled and coddled is now yours to raise for the next 20 years into adulthood. This can be a shocking transition, but also a tremendous blessing.

This surprise happened to me at the age of 57. My husband had just retired and we had relocated to a more relaxing place in our life. We already had 7 children between us with an age span of 15 – 34 years of age, the last two of whom were adopted from Russia. So, when our teenagers were ready to graduate from high school, we were looking forward to being empty nesters, having raised children for many years.

Then, along came JJ. Substance abuse, which our pediatrician calls “the scourge of our community”, was the culprit that led to our current situation. This is a common problem, although not all children of substance abusers are fortunate enough to be placed in a loving home out of the influence of parents who use drugs. Our journey started when we offered to take our 6 week old grandson for a few hours so his parents could enjoy some free time together. Those hours turned into several days when the parents didn’t show up to get their son and nobody could find them. They didn’t call to check on him and seemed not to mind that they didn’t contact us for days. It wasn’t long before CPS removed little JJ from his birth parents due to their substance abuse and neglect of their infant and placed him with both sets of grandparents sharing temporary kinship care. Unable to break free of the chains of drugs, even with unlimited free resources and counseling provided by the community, JJ’s parents lost custody of him permanently and we became new parents again through adoption of our precious grandson.

The process of adapting to this life-changing event affects everyone differently. If you find yourself in a similar life-altering stage, then you may benefit from this series on Grandparents Raising Grandchildren. Today’s tips are for Grandmas who are now Moms again:

Some things have changed

If you are anything like me, your last biological child may be in his/her 30’s, so raising a little one might be a bit intimidating. Lots has changed in 30 years! There is so much more technology to help children learn and play. But this means we have become more tech savvy and not avoid the latest cellphones, computers, or apps. (Any teenager is happy to help you learn to be more techie). Toys are more fun now. Clothes are cuter. There are great innovations like disposable diapers, better bottles, and on-the-go baby food. Kids go to preschool and all-day kindergarten now. But, there are negatives too, like many more immunizations to keep track of. The world doesn’t seem as safe in the big cities as it did long ago when we let our children play outside without as much fear of gang violence, guns, or being kidnapped. Yet, there are more guidelines for child-rearing, research on how to educate kids, and better job opportunities for when they are grown. While all these changes may be daunting, you can use them to your benefit and to make your life easier when raising children in your later years.

Some things never change

Fortunately for us, some things never change. Babies are babies, kids are kids, and teenagers are still teenagers. Changing diapers, bathing a baby, suctioning a nose with the blue bulb syringe, putting clothes on a wiggly toddler, and rocking a little one to sleep are still the same. Strategies for teaching math have changed, and maybe kids don’t always have books in high school, but the major concepts of the major subjects are ones you will remember. Don’t worry – this will all come back to you and you might be surprised how much better you are at parenting now than when you raised your first set of children. You are more relaxed and comfortable because you have decades of experience to draw on.

Your experience is a plus

One of your best assets as a new Grammy Mama (as I like to call this role) is your experience. For me, I raised or help raise 7 children before JJ, so I am way ahead of the new mother learning curve. We already know what works and doesn’t work in raising kids. We are not novices, but seasoned experts! So, when you are tempted to feel you are not up to this new challenge, remind yourself that this is not your first rodeo.
You are not too old
It is a normal feeling to think you might be too old to raise another child. Let me assure you that you are not, and you are not alone. There are more than a million other grandparents in America just like you who are doing it, and many are older than you are. Your age gives you wisdom and experience. If you were in another job, you would be a Senior Executive, VP, or CEO – that is what you are in this new job. Embrace your Grammy Mama role. There is a reason why this child (or children) has been entrusted to you. You have been chosen for a remarkable task: to nurture a child who will later thank you for not giving up on him. You are never too old to undertake such a legacy as that.

By |2023-08-25T18:56:09-05:00September 5th, 2023|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Series: When Grandma Becomes Mama

Pets Provide Significant Health Benefits


Pets Provide Significant Health Benefits By Rachel Blankmeyer, DVM

Some of our closest companions, especially as we age, are our four-legged friends. The human-animal bond provides many benefits to people who may otherwise be isolated due to emotional, behavioral, or physical problems. Research shows several health benefits of pet ownership for older adults, including lower blood pressure, triglycerides, and cholesterol levels. A study by Friedmann & Thomas in 1995 showed that pet ownership actually resulted in increased survival rates after a heart attack. Other studies have shown that pets may provide social support similar to that of a family member for older adults. Consider additional general health benefits such as weight control and stress reduction, and pet ownership seems like a win-win situation!

You may have heard of the Alzheimer’s patient study performed by Edwards & Beck in 2002, where persons with Alzheimer’s disease observed a facility fish tank and demonstrated improved relaxation, alertness, and eating habits. This is a huge deal for patients dealing with dementia because at least 50% experience weight loss, increasing the mortality rate and progression of disease. Stroke survivors may also specifically benefit from animal companionship through improved communication, dexterity, mobility and balance. As a veterinarian, I may be biased, but the facts don’t lie: animals help all of us have a more active daily life, and can enrich our lives emotionally! So, consider the cost-benefit ratio:

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Adopting your new forever friend from your local shelter…$35
Pet food for one month…$10
Years of companionship and improved health…priceless.

By |2023-08-25T18:55:50-05:00September 3rd, 2023|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Pets Provide Significant Health Benefits

How to Prepare for Senior Living

As Americans age, they must face the prospect of what to do when maintaining their independence is no longer recommended or feasible. The following resources from Senior Care Central will help you and your family figure out how best to make decisions about retirement communities, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes.

How Do I Know When to Make a Change?

Sometimes it is difficult to know when it’s time to change your living arrangements or those of an aging loved one. Check out these sources for help in knowing when the time is right.

  • Consumer Affairs lists 17 signs that it may be time to consider assisted living.
  • If you’re still unsure about moving into senior care, perhaps aging in place is an option, at least for a little while.

How Do I Know a Facility is a Good One?

Once you are certain a senior care option is necessary, you have to choose the location. However, there are so many facilities in operation that it can be difficult to tell which one is best for you or your loved one. Utilize these tools to make sure you’ve made the best choice.

  • There are several websites that rate retirement communities, so be sure to take these reviews into consideration.
  • However, many people are more comfortable with consumer reviews, so don’t neglect this source of information.
  • It also doesn’t hurt to check out what government inspection procedures are and to make sure the facility you’re considering has few if any citations against it.

How Do I Pay for Long-Term Senior Care?

It is hard enough figuring out senior care without even considering the costs associated with it, but sooner or later, the price of assisted living must be taken into consideration. Fortunately, there are many ways to make the cost affordable.

It may not be pleasant as you investigate options for senior living, but it will likely be necessary. The process can be confusing and stressful, but the resources discussed in this article will make the process a little easier to understand and navigate.



By |2023-08-25T18:55:33-05:00September 1st, 2023|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on How to Prepare for Senior Living

Guest Blog: Android Apps For Especially Designed For Boomers


The  Boomer generation is widely considered the wealthiest and most active generation in history. The Baby Boomer generation is widely considered the richest and most active generation in history. The boom began after World War II with post-war optimism, continued unabated through the civil rights movement, youth rebellion of the 1960s, women’s liberation of the 1970s, and was sustained throughout the explosion of computer technology that has dominated the 1980s and 1990s.

The Very Best Mobile Apps for Baby Boomers are touch screen phone apps designed for seniors, people with vision problems or memory issues, or people who are just plain old fashioned. Here are some of the best new Android apps available for older adults who want to keep in touch, stay active, and remain independent.

1- Booming With Laughter

Laughter is more than just an app for senior LOLs. It’s a fun way to keep in touch with family and friends. It’s free, easy to use, and it makes sending messages simple for seniors who want to keep up on the latest news while having some laughs along the way. It’s the equivalent of a photo booth for your phone; users can take photos, add special effects and instantly share them with others in the app community. What makes Laughter such appealing entertainment is that it comes packed with hundreds of funny visual bits like memes, cartoons, jokes, and animations.

2- In-1 Band Saw and Scroll Saw

This powerful double app functions as a band saw to cut wood, plastic, aluminum, and steel. With a 20-inch capacity of the material, this saw delivers the power of a commercial band saw in the convenience of a scroll saw design. In addition, it features cam-lock blade clamps, adjustable table angles for bevel cutting, and guide bearings into which the upper wheel fits with steel ball bearings.

3- 3D Bowling Game

This is an exciting 3D bowling game with realistic graphics ux design and challenging gameplay. It delivers a high-quality bowling experience complete with online leaderboards so users can compete against others from around the world. This fast-paced game also comes with ten-pin bowling, candlepin, five-pin bowling, duckpins, giant killer, coin collector, and other challenges to keep players coming back for more.

4- The New Retirement

This app helps Baby Boomers and others plan for the future. It explores and discusses everything about retirement and provides more than 20 general guidelines to help ensure a worry-free life after work ends. In addition, the app explains tax situations, estate planning, health care decisions, and many other things related to retirement living. It also has information on retirement communities, retirement gifts for family members, and more.

5- AARP Tax-Aide 2011

This app helps users with personal tax preparation. It’s free, easy to use, and provides direct access to AARP counselors who the IRS qualified to represent taxpayers at the nation’s most considerable Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site network. It’s an excellent tool for seniors looking to file their taxes without the worry and stress of going through the process alone.

6- Twitter

This app is a social networking site that lets people share thoughts and feelings with friends, family members, and others. It’s a great way to keep up with the latest news while staying connected to loved ones who are miles away.

Brain Wave Control 1.0

This game uses brain wave control to move the character on screen by collecting stone pieces. It has three mini-games and a global high scores table.

7- Boomerang

This app allows you to watch your favorite videos, read the latest news and weather reports, tweet to friends on Twitter, write notes, check email, update your Facebook status–all without having to leave the comfort of your couch or swivel your desk chair. More than 10 million users have downloaded this app to their smartphones and tablets, which means it’s bound to become a favorite among Boomers as well.

The Very Best Of the 50s & 60s

This music app features some of the very best songs from the 1950s and 1960s decades. You’ll find classics like “Unchained Melody” by the Righteous Brothers, “Respect” by Aretha Franklin, and “I Got You Babe” by Sonny & Cher. It’s a great way to relive the golden years of music from an era that will never be forgotten.


1- The majority of the apps featured in this post are free. If you don’t mind ads, then many of them come packed with no cost to you.

2- People should always read the user reviews before downloading an app. This will help you better understand what the program is about and how it runs on different platforms. It will also give you an idea of the quality level and any complaints other users may have had.

3- It’s essential to look for updates because these can change app functions and improve their performance levels. Updates are handy if you have an older version of a program installed on your device.

Lastly, Several different android apps are specially designed for Boomers. 7 of them have been mentioned in this post, but there are plenty more where those came from. If you’re an active Baby Boomer who wants to be able to do things on the go, then these types of Android programs will help keep boredom at bay and make your life a whole lot easier.


By |2023-09-01T10:59:48-05:00September 1st, 2023|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: Android Apps For Especially Designed For Boomers

Guest Blog: Multigenerational Living


Ever heard of multigenerational living? It’s a hot topic these days because many seniors are looking for ways to remain independent longer. As more people enter their advanced years, they and their families are faced with difficult decisions of how to provide the best care possible. For seniors hoping to keep their independence, living with family is the next best option to aging at home. Even if your house isn’t big enough to handle more people living in it, there are companies who remodel homes specifically for seniors moving in.

 As noted in NYU Professor Eric Klinenberg’s “Aging alone in America,” 33% of American seniors make the decision to remain out of care facilities. With medical progress and healthier living, remaining out of a care home has become more practical than it once was.  Among the rest of the world’s population, living with the elderly is more common, but as Americans, we tend to stay separated from our parents once we move out. With the economic downturn of 2008, however, young adults are staying in their parents’ homes longer and older people are moving back in with their children. Seems like we’re becoming more European every day!

Since elder care facilities commonly drain assets, there are obvious cost benefits to bringing your parents to you. Even more importantly than saving money, living at home helps seniors stay healthy by maintaining a routine. Things we take for granted like housekeeping, cooking, or yard work are types of physical and mental exercise that people do not receive in assisted living centers. After years of retirement it’s easy to lose one’s routine. If someone completely loses their routine they can develop what is called aging atrophy, which means increased dependence on those around them. Doing small chores helps combat aging atrophy. Plus, they can perform the cleaning duties or home upkeep you might not have time to do yourself.

Lastly, living in a multigenerational setting allows seniors to maintain control over their environment. At facilities, there is contact with nurses, other residents, and even other residents’ families that cause exposure to illness. Keeping a clean environment at home without strangers around can help ward off sickness. If your loved one begins to require too much care to remain healthy at home, however, you should look into home-health services or other living options. Aging is often associated with making major decisions, but keeping parents close can help reduce stress.

Jacob Edward is the manager of both Prime Medical Alert and Senior Planning in Phoenix, Arizona. Prime Medical Alert allows seniors to stay in their homes longer and sells equipment throughout the country. In his spare time, Jacob enjoys dining out and supporting his alma mater Arizona State’s Sun Devil sports teams. Jacob lives in Tempe, Arizona.




By |2023-07-31T12:48:34-05:00August 28th, 2023|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: Multigenerational Living