According to a recent study, grandparents who help watch their grandchildren or who provide support to others may actually live longer than their fellow seniors.
STUDY confirms grandparents who babysit may live longer!
The Berlin Ageing Study of 500 pensioners found that grandparents who babysit had a 37% lower mortality risk than adults of the same age with no caring responsibilities.
The study, of men and women aged 70 and older, showed that those grandparents who helped care for their grandchildren lived at least seven years longer.
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.
“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,” Ronan Factora, a doctor at Cleveland Clinic revealed.
“There is a link between providing this care and reducing stress and we know the relationship between stress and a 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.”
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.