We are delighted to announce that our physical office is re-opening to our existing and new clients. To provide safety to both our clients and staff, we are adapting the CDC guidelines for social distancing while we are in the yellow phase. Rest assured, that we have and will continue to regularly clean all areas of the office especially the high-traffic areas. All attorneys and staff will have their temperature taken daily and will be wearing masks when interacting with clients. Any attorneys and staff with a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher will work remotely. They will then be required to follow CDCrecommended steps, including not returning to work until the CDC criteria to discontinue home isolation are met.

As the health and safety of our clients and their families is our top priority, we are asking that our clients follow the procedures below during the yellow phase:

  1. Upon entering the building, we ask that all persons wash their hands or hand-sanitize. We will be providing access to soap, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes.
  2. We will also be taking temperatures with non-contact thermometers upon entering the office.
  3. Our office is set-up to comply with social distancing of six feet. In the conference and mediation rooms we are asking that each person sit a minimum of one chair apart from attorneys and/or staff at all times.
  4. Masks are available and will be provided open request.
  5. Teleconferences Zoom meetings, and FaceTime are available in lieu of inperson meetings if requested.
  6. We will continue to have the drop-box available for delivery of documents.

In the event that anyone is sick or have been exposed to COVID-19, we ask that you reschedule your appointment or utilize the electronic forums listed above.

As each county determines the procedures that will be followed, please ask your attorney of the specific procedures regarding the county in which your case in pending.

Please note that we will also continue to accommodate the needs of new clients, who are welcome, and as always we encourage and appreciate referrals. During this uncertain and unprecedented time, please stay safe and remember that Sweeney Law Office, LLC will remain by your side for all of your family’s legal needs. We ask that you have patience during this challenging time.

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As more kids live with grandparents, seniors’ health suffers

Statistics show that more and more Pennsylvania families are comprised of grandparents who are raising their grandchildren. This trend comes as a result of a number of factors, including a sluggish economy that has left many parents unable to care for their own children. In other cases, drugs, mental illness or criminal convictions have left children without a functioning parent, and the grandparents have stepped into this role out of love and concern for their grandchildren. No matter how a child has come to live with grandparents, this type of family unit has a number of unique needs and challenges.

One issue involves the health of the caretaker(s). The challenges of keeping up with children can be taxing on any parent, and especially so for grandparents who are in their later years. It can quickly become overwhelming for a grandparent to assume all care for a child. Children present different challenges at every stage of their development, and it can be just as mentally exhausting to worry over a teenager as it is physically tiring to run after a toddler.

Recent research shows that for many grandparents in this situation, health issues arise that can be directly tied to the caregiving responsibilities they have assumed for their grandchildren. Among the aggravating factors that can affect a senior’s health are sleep deprivation, stress, and exhaustion. In addition, when caring for their grandchildren, many grandparents place their own health needs behind the needs of the kids, and postpone doctor’s visits and treatment for illnesses.

In addition to the impact on one’s health, grandparents who are raising their grandchildren also face a number of legal issues. When children live with grandparents outside of a formal custody agreement or order, there is always the risk that one of the parents will decide to take the kids back to live with them. This could not only lead to a negative living situation for the children, but could also greatly affect the stress level of the grandparent caregiver. By approaching the Pennsylvania courts to gain legal custody of the children, grandparents can ensure that they will retain the legal right to raise those children, which can greatly reduce stress for all involved.

Source: Chicago Tribune, “Raising grandchildren can be hard on grandparents’ health,” Deborah L. Shelton, Dec. 31, 2012

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