Study: Grandparents who babysit grandkids could add years to their lives


  

Sunday is National Grandparents’ Day. 

And according to one study, grandparents who help watch their grandkids or who provide support to others may actually live longer than other seniors. 

»RELATED: 4 secrets to slowing down the aging process

Dr. Ronan Factora, of Cleveland Clinic, did not take part in the study, but said there are several reasons why seniors reap the health rewards of caregiving. 

 “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,” Factora said. 

Researchers examined data from more than 500 people ages 70 and older, who took part in the Berlin Aging Study. 

 Grandparents who were primary caregivers for grandchildren were not included in the study. 

 They found that seniors who provided some care, whether for their grandchildren or for others, had a lower risk of death over a 20 year period than those who did not help others. 

 “There is a link between providing this care and reducing stress and we know the relationship between stress and higher risk of dying,” said Dr. Factora. “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. Factora also said caregiving can be physically demanding, which can help keep the body young. 

 However, he 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. 

 Dr. Factora said another benefit for seniors who provide care is the social interaction that it provides, which is key to keeping the brain healthy. 

 Complete results of the study can be found in Evolution and Human Behavior.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in News

Springfield pair recognized by Forbes for work with literacy
Springfield pair recognized by Forbes for work with literacy

Karlos L. Marshall and Moses B. Mbeseha are only 27-years-old, but they’ve already accomplished something only a select few people have. The co-founders of The Conscious Connect, Inc. were recently named to Forbes ‘30 under 30’ Class of 2019 list for their work in education. The Springfield-based organization’s mission is to...
Thanksgiving 2018: 9 things you probably didn't know about the holiday
Thanksgiving 2018: 9 things you probably didn't know about the holiday

Each year, Thanksgiving comes around with with the giddy anticipation of devouring comfort food and spending some QT with loved ones, which reminds you just what what you are thankful for the most.  The rich, deep history of this centuries-old tradition is woven into the United States' cultural fabric, yet, there are still many aspects of...
Christmas 2018: When should you put up your Christmas tree?
Christmas 2018: When should you put up your Christmas tree?

While it may never reach the level of controversy of how to hang the toilet paper roll or which way to load the dishwasher, the right time to put up the Christmas tree is a heavily-debated household topic. There are answers to this question that depend on everything from Prince Albert to the opinion of tree growers to something called...
Chilly Thanksgiving ahead of a rainy weekend 
Chilly Thanksgiving ahead of a rainy weekend 

Cold, sunny Thanksgiving Rain arrives Friday night Weekend warm air invasion  THANKSGIVING: A chilly Thanksgiving is expected as temperatures start off in the mid to upper 20s with wind chills dipping to near 20 degrees. Thankfully, we'll get sunshine to pair up with a relatively quiet breeze. Dry condition will last all day long and even...
Man accused of killing baby born to 15-year-old girl, encasing body in cement
Man accused of killing baby born to 15-year-old girl, encasing body in cement

Police in Lawrence County, Pennsylvania, on Wednesday arrested a 38-year-old man they say killed an infant and hid the body, which authorities found encased in cement inside a safe. According to police, Christopher Lee Kennedy had sex with an unnamed juvenile on at least 10 occasions. In 2017, when she was 15 years old, the girl became pregnant...
More Stories