Isolation can be the greatest challenge facing grandparents who are raising their grandchildren.
Bereavement, mental health and drug and alcohol-related problems mean some grandparents are taking on the responsibility of raising their grandchildren.
Patricia*, 59, raised five children of her own but she is now raising her 10-year-old grandson and seven-year-old granddaughter after their mother died.
Patricia says there is plenty of support on everything from legal issues to budgeting and respite care.
"Grandparents don't have to feel isolated, there is help out there for them," she says.
Patricia's first port of call was the Salvation Army. She was then introduced to Barnardos Communities for Children Shellharbour, as well as COTA NSW, which runs the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren program, and the Mirabel Foundation.
"I never realised how many grandparents are raising their grandkids until I started going to the meetings," Patricia said.
The Salvation Army's Off Our Rockers support group offers a counselling course, behaviour management course, parenting modules, stress management, relaxation classes, art therapy, first aid for grandparents, legal aid workshop and a mobile phone course.
The Mirabel Foundation helped pay for Patricia's grandchildren to go to a five-day camp and Patricia got some respite.
Grandparents Raising Grandchildren project co-ordinator Danny Manich says isolation, stigma and financial hardship were common challenges.
But Patricia says she doesn't worry about any stigma.
"I don't care what other people think about me, I'm here for these two," she says, pointing to her grandkids, happily darting around on their scooters.
"I'm trying to make it as positive as possible for them," she says.
"It's hard when you're old, it makes you very tired ... but it keeps you young - you haven't got time to sit and worry about your aching back."
"I could not turn my back on them - they're my grandchildren."
For information, contact The Salvation Army on 4229 1079 or COTA NSW - Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, 9286 3860.
*Patricia is not her real name.