Most people are delighted when the day comes when their own children have children. Becoming a grandparent adds a richness to family life that is delightful and filled with love. It’s a lot easier being a grandparent than a parent, because you get to enjoy the deliciousness of the kids and then they go home!!
That was sort of a joke, but scientifically speaking it has been proven to be true.
While babysitting little ones can be stress-inducing, a study has found that it can actually add years to your life. According to recent research, grandparents who acted as caregivers were more likely to extend their lifespans than grandparents who didn’t. Cleveland Clinic doctor Ronan Factora, M.D., says that the physical activity, social connectedness and mental stimulation that come with caregiving all play a role in aging gracefully.
The study looked at 500 people who were 70 years old or older over a 20-year time frame. Grandparents who had a role in babysitting for their grandkids had a lower risk of dying during that period than those who didn’t.
The reason why caring for grandkids can improve your health is that it can relieve stress. If this is surprising, remember that grandparents can usually give the kids back to the parents when things get too stressful. That seems to be the key to caregiving. Too much of it can be overwhelming, but taking on the responsibility in moderation can help you stay young.
Although you may think that physical health is what helps you live long, mental health plays a major part.
As you get older, your risk for cognitive decline increases. Caring for grandchildren provides social interaction that can help your mind stay young.
If your grandparents have lived to a ripe old age, you might have some beautiful memories of them playing with you. You don’t have to be a grandparent to take advantage of these benefits, though. The study showed that people who care for anyone else also get the physical and mental boosts that can extend their lives.
Parents who rely on the grandparents for babysitting duties should remember that caring for kids shouldn’t feel like a burden. Grandparents should enjoy spending time with the grandkids, and caregiving shouldn’t be a source of anxiety.