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June 1, 2007

"Grandparents Raising Grandchildren: Issues and Challenges" June 8 at ULM

Founders of the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Information Center of Louisiana (GRGICL) will host a workshop for grandparents, “Grandparents Raising Grandchildren: Issues and Challenges,” Friday, June 8, from 10 – 11:30 a.m. in the ULM University Conference Center, located on the seventh floor of the ULM Library. Refreshments will be served from 9:30 – 10 a.m.

Dot Thibodeaux and Danna Spayde co-founded the non-profit center, which began as a support group in Baton Rouge in 1993. During Friday’s workshop, they will discuss the history of the Grandparents Movement in Louisiana, and they will address major issues facing grandparents and other kinship caregivers, in addition to the legislative efforts of support groups throughout the state. Louisiana has the fourth highest rate of children living with persons other than their parents.

Registration fee for the “Grandparents Raising Grandchildren” workshop is $2 per person or $3 per couple by June 6. Registration after June 6 or at the door is $4 per person or $6 per couple. For additional information about the workshop, contact Dale Welch, ULM professor of gerontology and sociology and president of the Louisiana Geriatric Society, at (318) 342-1465 or 342-1434 or e-mail him at For more information about the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Information Center, visit

The workshop is part of the Louisiana Geriatric Society Conference, June 8– 9 at ULM. The ULM Gerontology Program is hosting the conference, which will feature the following workshops for professionals: “Communication Disorders in the Elderly,” “Issues Related to Oral Health in the Older Population,” “Pet Therapy,” and “Culture Change in Nursing Homes.”

The LGS conference will begin on Friday, June 8 with registration at 5 p.m., followed by dinner at 5:45 p.m., the presentation of gerontology awards, and a keynote address by ULM Endowed Professor of Gerontology Chris Johnson on “A New View of Emotions and Alzheimer’s Disease.”

Registration fee for the LGS conference is $60. For more information about the LGS conference, contact Welch at (318) 342-1465 or 342-1434 or e-mail him at

More about Grandparents Raising Grandchildren:

This 501(c)(3) agency evolved from a support group that started in 1993 in Baton Rouge, when Thibodeaux found herself in the position of caretaker for her 12-year-old grandson. From this modest beginning, the organization is now serving the entire state of Louisiana with its annual conference, its connections with the AARP Grandparents’ Information Center. The organization is also serving Louisiana through its working agreement with the new Louisiana Relatives as Parents Program (LaRAPP), grants from the Casey Foundation, and Louisiana Public Broadcasting, its advocacy role in the Legislature and its historic Grandparents House in Baton Rouge.

More about Louisiana Geriatric Society:

The Louisiana Geriatric Society’s mission is to promote high quality, comprehensive and accessible care for Louisiana's older population, including those who are chronically ill and disabled. The organization's goal is to provide leadership to health care professionals, policy makers and the public by developing, implementing and advocating programs in patient care, research, professional and public education, and public policy.

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