Grandparents who babysit grandchildren are likely to live longer, study reveals
A 2017 study showed that grandparents who spend time babysitting children are likely to have a longer lifespan.
The data in the Berlin Aging Study revealed such as 500 seniors participated to confirm that spending time with younger kids can extend their lives significantly.
In fact, the study, which was published in “Evolution and Human Behavior,” made it clear that it didn’t matter if it was the seniors’ grandchildren or not.
Caring and giving quality time for children gave them a lower risk of death over a two-decade timeframe compared to those seniors who did not babysit.
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Speaking with ABC7 News, Ronan Factora, MD of the Cleveland Clinic, who was not part of the study, said, “We know that as you age, you want to stay physically active; you want to stay socially engaged; you want to be cognitively stimulated; and all those things allow you to age well.”
As it turns out, babysitting children helps in keeping the seniors physically active. In addition, children help relieve stress for them.
Although, the study clarified that too much babysitting could pose health risks to the grandparents. Instead of enjoying the health benefits that go with taking care of young kids, they could put their health in danger if they overdo it.
"You want to make sure that you find that right balance where you are doing what you can to stay active, doing good for the folks that you're helping out with, but don't do too much where you get to the point where you're overly stressed," Dr. Factora explained.
Still, babysitting is worth a try for grandparents. They just have to make sure that they are aware of their limits. Plus, social interaction that goes with babysitting is another benefit since it keeps the brain healthy.
As for the grandchildren, having quality time with their grandparents brings them extra stability, as well as emotional support.
Meanwhile, another study revealed what keeps grandparents and grandchildren close. According to the researchers, six factors influence the concept that they call “intergenerational solidarity.”
Those six factors are physical proximity, the frequency of contact, grandparents’ function within the family, the concept of normalcy, emotional bonding, and reaching a consensus on values.