One of the toughest jobs that's often forgotten on Labor Day is raising a child...
And that job can be even tougher for grandparents who find themselves parenting.
But there is a support group aimed at helping those 'senior' parents...
Eight year old Jacob Diaz and his brother Zeke are being raised by their grandmother, Nicky Diaz.
"She's my grandma and mom, because my mom, she doesn't live here, and I'm not supposed to be with her, or my dad."
Nicky Diaz has now raised nine grand-kids.
Klamath Falls 'Grandparents as Parents' director Lloyd King notes that Diaz isn't alone...
"There's over 600 grandparents in Klamath County raising these grand-kids today."
Those grandparents are getting some help through the 'Grandparents as Parents' support group.
"I would go in there, overwhelmed, and ready to scream bloody murder." Remembers Nicky Diaz. "And I would go in there, and there was always somebody worse off than me."
"I found that I wasn't a lone ranger." Adds Lloyd King. "And that there was other people going through the same situation."
Diaz notes that the group also provides grandparents with access to parenting resources...
"The fact that there's different programs out there that I didn't know about, or how to deal with the situation in the system."
You'll find 'Grandparents as Parents' under 'support groups' in many yellow pages, as well as the white pages.
Nicky Diaz wishes she would have called sooner...
"You're going to realize that it's like a lot of stuff goes off of your shoulders."
And Jacob Diaz is glad that his grandma called...
"I actually like it at first, because she actually take cared of me."
According to census figures, there are about 38,000 kids being raised by their grandparents in Oregon.
That figure jumps to about four and a half million kids nationwide.
For more information:
Grandparents as Parents
P.O. Box 7455
Klamath Falls, Oregon 97602
Or, call toll-free: 1-877-215-4576