Monday, September 2, 2019

Celebrating Grandparents on Grandparents Day

By Raquel Daniels GRANDcares Site Coordinator, Larimer County

September 8th is National Grandparents day! Just like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, there is a day to celebrate grandparents. Grandparents day was originally the idea of Marian Lucille Herndon McQuade. She and her husband had 15 children, 43 grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild. Her goal was to create a day for families to come together where family members can take the opportunity to honor their grandparents and for grandparents to show their love for their grandchildren. This goal was put into fruition in 1978 when President Jimmy Carter proclaimed the first Sunday after Labor Day as Grandparents Day.
Grandparents day continues to be a day to connect with generations. Grandparents provide much value to their families by providing continued support, love and wisdom to younger generations. There is much strength and guidance older people can impart to their grandchildren. While there are many ways to celebrate Grandparents Day  has several ideas of how to spend it with your grandparent:

Create a Family Tree: Who better to ask about family members and family history than grandparents? Hearing the history from a family member is a great way to learn about where you come from.

Look through old photographs: Old photographs can bring curious looks from younger children and spark fond memories from you. In an age where everything is on screens, recovering old photos creates a different experience to share with your grandchildren.

Tell a Story: Perhaps looking at photos would lead to telling stories about a time from your past. There have been many changes over the years in technology, economics, and other advances. Telling younger children fond memories from your own childhood can be engaging for both of you.

Cook a recipe together: Many families have recipes that are irreplaceable. Spending some time in the kitchen with Grandma or Grandpa and learning a family recipe is a fun way to spend time together. It passes on knowledge and you get to share a meal with someone you care about.

Happy Grandparents Day to all the Grandparents!

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

For the Service Providers in the Room: Working with Grandfamilies

By Aimee Fox MS, GRANDcares graduate research assistant, Colorado State University 

At the GRANDcares project, we hope to strengthen the work of service providers who serve and support grandfamiliesOur webinars aim to provide more education and information about the complexities grandfamilies experience on a daily basis. By being aware of the challenges grandfamilies face and the strengths they possess, service providers can increase their ability to create and implement strengths-based approaches to effectively supporting resilience in grandfamilies 

One tool in helping service providers succeed at supporting grandfamilies is the availability of evidence-based programs (EBPs). To learn more about what EBPs are, why service providers should use EBPs, and how to choose EBPs, check out our fifth webinar, The Importance of Evidence-Based Programs when Working with GrandfamiliesThere are many benefits for service providers to choose and implement an EBP, including research-based program effectiveness, cost savings, reduction in the work of developing a program, improving health and well-being outcomes for grandfamilies, and helping change population prevalence rates of problems.  

If you are interested in learning more about EBPs or want to find an EBP that will work for you and the grandfamilies you serve, visit the following national EBP Registries: 

If you have any questions about evidence-based programs after watching our webinar, or if you are interested in implementing our Powerful Tools for Caregivers – Grandfamilies classes or our Youth Club program, please contact a member of our GRANDcares Project team.

Friday, February 1, 2019

A Healthy You Benefits Your Grandchild Too!

By Raquel Daniels GRANDcares Site Coordinator, Larimer County

As the beginning of the New Year has come again and school is back in session, it can be easy to get caught up in the routine of running from errand to errand without taking time to pause. Drop-off, daycare, homework, and sports; at times the load can be physically and emotionally overwhelming. That is why it is important to remember to take time to care for yourself.

With the regular routine of the day it is easy to put off your own needs by prioritizing the needs of others, but it is essential to remember you are important too. Taking some time for yourself to relax should not be considered a luxury, it is a necessity. One of the best ways to support your grandchild is to support yourself. Regularly setting aside some time to relax, take up a hobby, exercise or another activity you find enjoyable will help avoid burnout in the future. While at times it may sometimes lead to feelings of guilt, reframing that thought by reminding yourself why taking time for yourself is important can counteract some negative self-talk. Making an effort to plan healthy meals, get adequate sleep and attending regular medical visits can all be beneficial to your overall health and well-being.

Along with taking time for yourself, spending time with others can be beneficial as well. Utilizing supports in your area such as social support groups or community resources can help you feel more connected to your community through a sense of belonging and feel less alone. Remembering to give yourself permission to pause and be kind to yourself in doing so will go a long way.

Several supports right in Larimer County, Colorado are:

“HUGS” daytime social group through the Grand Family Coalition Inc.,
For more information contact Gail Engel at or 970-699-2837

Grandfamily Support Program through the Namaqua Center
For more information contact Craig Callan at or 970-494-4231

Wellness Classes offered at Fort Collins Senior Center
For more information contact Sue Schneider at or 970-498-6014

To find supports in your state visit to see what programs are available near you:

Friday, November 30, 2018

Celebrating Grandparents raising Grandchildren on National Caregiver's Month

Written by: Destiny-Joyce Quinsaat-Tobosa, Program Assistant, GRANDcares

“Family members, friends, and neighbors devote countless hours to providing care to their relatives or loved ones. During National Family Caregivers Month, we recognize and thank the humble heroes who do so much to keep our families and communities strong.”

President Barack Obama, NFC Month Proclamation 2012
We have just finished celebrating National Family Caregiver month! A month dedicated to family caregivers that allows organizations to raise awareness of family caregiver issues, increase support for caregivers, and most importantly CELEBRATE all they do! President Clinton signed the first National Family Caregiver Month Presidential Proclamation in 1997 and every president since has continued by issuing an annual proclamation recognizing and honoring family caregivers each November (

My name is Destiny and I am the GRANDcares Program Assistant in Maui County. I was introduced to the program back in 2017 when my mom started taking the classes in Kahului. Since then, GRANDcares has been very important and close to my heart. Currently, I can see my mom taking the tools she has learned from the classes and implementing them into her own life to help reduce the everyday stress she experiences from taking care of my niece. My mom often uses “Me Moments” to help her regain her train of thought and to help her calm down. She also uses the Action Plan in order to set and keep to her goals. The program has dramatically impacted the way my family dynamic is since we can all take some tips and use them in our day to day lives.

The Hawaii and Colorado GRANDcares programs celebrate and honor all caregiving participants – grandparents raising grandchildren and all other types of family caregivers.  

Many of the grandparent caregivers who have participated in GRANDcares find it difficult at times to think of and put themselves first. But even small self-care steps taken daily or weekly have made a big difference – both to themselves and their grandchildren. Here are some of the steps our grandparents have taken:
      Take medications on time each day
      Stop for 30 minutes to watch a show (Criminal Minds is a personal favorite of mine at the moment)
      Know personal limits – and say “NO!”
      Ask for and accept help from others
      Talk to a counselor, friend or family member who is a good listener
      Post notes around the house that are reminders that you are as important as the grandchildren you are raising
      Hire a babysitter and go to a movie or sit on the beach
      Take time out without feeling guilt

We honor and celebrate all that grandparents do and sacrifice to make sure that their grandchildren grow up healthy, happy and safe. You are not alone and we encourage you to continue your great work, to reach out to others in similar situations, and most importantly to stop to take care of yourselves so that you and your grandchildren can thrive.

Monday, June 25, 2018

GRANDcares Youth Club: A GRAND Kick off in Hawaii!

Written by: Jordyn Paa, Assistant Marketing Research Analyst, GRANDcares

Since 2015, GRANDcares has provided education and services to grandparents raising grandchildren. During our free classes, grandparents are able to learn and grow with other grandparents in the same situation, but what about grandchildren? GRANDcares launched the GRANDcares Youth Club on Maui in April 2018.  Within this innovative curriculum designed for keiki ages 8-14, who are currently being raised by grandparents, the youth build upon their leadership skills, self-confidence, communication skills and goal setting strategies. The GRANDcares Youth Club shares similar foundations to the 4-H Youth Club, which targets life skills to take care of “Head, Heart, Hands, and Health”. The motto of the GRANDcares Youth Club is “Grandfamilies Take Care of Each Other”.

One Youth Club member in particular, Kanai, highlights his experience with the new GRANDcares program. “It is a way to meet others who are going through the same situation. Sharing and learning from others can sometimes help with trials that may occur in your own life.”

Within the Youth Club, keiki get to participate in hands-on activities such as problem solving with paper airplanes, dynamic stretching, and tai chi. The classes for grandchildren run at the same time as the classes for grandparents.  The program was designed with the intention that families will take home what they learned in class and practice together to reach family goals and resolve challenges.

“I love socializing with others in the club,” Kanai said, “We’ve been trying to implement what we’ve learned in classes to our own lifestyles.”

Our next GRANDcares Youth Club in Maui starts on September 19 on Wednesday’s from 5:00 - 7:30pm. The classes are FREE and include dinner.  For children that are under 8 years old, supervision and activities will be available.  You can register yourself and your grandchildren by emailing

Join our grandfamily community and meet some awesome Youth Club members like Kanai!  We hope to see you soon!   

Follow us on Instagram @grandcareshawaii or like us on Facebook @grandcareshawaii

Friday, April 27, 2018

Mindful Self-Care

By Sue Schneider, Family & Consumer Science & Community Development Agent, Larimer County Extension

Our culture has long reinforced the idea that self-care is selfish. We are taught to wear busyness and selflessness as badges of honor. Yet unfettered commitments to our jobs, families, and communities can often leave us overwhelmed and exhausted. Our burnout shows up in physician’s offices where 75 – 90% of all visits are related to stress. We want to find magic bullets to help us manage stress when we feel our lives spinning out of control.  But magic bullets don’t exist.

As we know, it can be really hard to turn around difficult circumstances in our lives. And making big changes takes time. But it is important to acknowledge that our difficult circumstances are not always the cause of our stress. Often, our reactions to our circumstances create much of our suffering. We tend to pour fuel onto our perceived difficulties when we view them with anxiety, fear, negativity, or judgement. We often catastrophize worst case scenarios, blame others or ourselves for things gone wrong, and numb ourselves to our pain through electronic devises, overwork, and substances. We turn away from our difficulties rather than leaning into them and learning what they have to teach us. In this way, we strengthen the habitual tendencies that aggravate our stress again and again.

In this video series on mindful self-care, we will explore another set of options; how to press the pause button, return to the present, work skillfully with difficulties, and prioritize our wellbeing in the midst of stressful events. We will learn how to deactivate the “habits of mind” that escalate our distress while strengthening our capacity for acceptance, self-compassion, ease, and joy. Mindful self-care means opening up space to attend to your own needs and developing health-promoting habits that serve your body, mind, and heart. Self-care takes practice and commitment. These videos can get you started by offering practical concepts and tools. Along the way, you will learn that mindfulness is not a magic bullet but rather a powerful guide for a lifelong journey back to the present.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

2018 Free Days

By:  Gloria Sanchez, Adams County Site Coordinator

It’s springtime! Birds are chirping, days are longer, the sun is shining, children are ready to go outside, and summer is around the corner!  Many parents find themselves asking questions like, “What are we going to do? How are we going to entertain the kids? What will they do for fun?”  Well, not to worry because 2018’s free days are here!  For the last few years, the Denver area’s cultural institutions such as museums, gardens, and the zoo have offered FREE DAYS for the community.  These are days when admissions to such places are FREE FOR ALL to visit.  This initiative is largely welcomed by those on a budget and is especially convenient for families.  Every year, several institutions offer different days throughout the year for families to visit for FREE! The Scientific and Cultural Facilities District provides a calendar with a monthly listing of free days that can be found at For example, this month you can enjoy the Clyfford Still Museum (1250 Bannock St.) Friday evenings from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. 

But the fun doesn’t stop there!  As the days warm up, have a family picnic at the Hudson Gardens (6115 S. Sante Fe Dr.) or Chatfield Farms (8500 W. Deer Creek Canyon Rd.).  If you are an art lover, you can plan a visit to the Denver Art Museum (100 W. 14th Ave. Parkway) or the Arvada Center Galleries (6901 Wadsworth Blvd.).  The Children’s Museum of Denver at Marisco Campus (2121 Children’s Museum Dr.) offers free admissions from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. the first Tuesday of every month throughout the year. 

Check out the dinosaurs, mummies and awesome exhibits at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science (2001 S. Colorado Blvd.), and if you visit in the summertime, be sure to bring a towel and enjoy the splash pad in the adjoining park.  If your grandchild is a little builder, your local Home Depot also offers workshops on Saturdays mornings (registration required).

While all of these are amazing ways to spend your days, don’t forget you can always visit your local library, take a walk or bike-ride on a nearby trail, or just go run around at the neighborhood playground.  There are many free options or low cost activities that you can do with your grandchildren.  I have only mentioned a few, so check out the rest on the Scientific & Cultural Facilities District website at