When grandma wants to babysit, you might want to let her without hesitation. Not only is it good for you to have a break from the kids, but, you could also be helping grandma (or grandpa) live longer!
Yes, Experts Say, Grandparents Who Babysit Grandkids Live Longer!
According to a recent study published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior, grandparents who help watch their grandkids or help provide support to others may actually live longer than other seniors.
The study examined data from the Berlin Aging Study with a focus on 500 people 70 years old and up what they found was that those that helped care for grandchildren, had a lower risk of dying over a 20-year period, as opposed to other seniors who did not watch over young-ins.
Sounds like we’ve officially found the fountain of youth – young kids!
“There is a link between providing this care and reducing stress and we know the relationship between stress and higher risk of dying. If providing care to grandchildren and others in need is one way that can actually reduce stress, then these activities should be of benefit to folks who are grandparents and provide this care to their grandkids.” – Dr. Ronan Factora, M.D., of Cleveland Clinic (Source)
In the study, participants were in 3 different categories:
- Caregiving grandparents
- Non-caregiving grandparents
Researchers found that caregiving grandparents had a 37% chance of living longer when compared to non-caregiving grandparents and non-grandparents.
However, Dr. Factora said too much caregiving, to the point where it is overwhelming, can have the opposite effect and actually be the source of stress and aging.
“You want to make sure that you find that right balance between getting the positive benefits of doing enough of an activity to help those in need and avoiding doing too much and getting to the point where the activity makes one overly stressed,” said Dr. Factora. (Source)
So, make sure there is a good balance – got it!
Now you know that sometimes the best gift you can give your grandparents is the gift of caring for their grandkids, it will help promote a healthy life plus give your kids lasting memories.