There’s a new study published on Evolution & Human Behavior online journal that associates grandparenting, within or beyond the family, with lower mortality rate. It was conducted among more than 500 seniors aged 70 and older, over a 22-year period.
The result of the study showed that caregiving grandparents had 33% lower mortality hazard than non-caregiving grandparents, as well as a much lower mortality rate.
On the other hand, Dr. Ronan Factora, a Geriatric Medicine specialist said on Clevelandclinic.org that overdoing it also has negative effects, as it can also be a 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.
So how does grandparenting benefits the health, you may ask?
It lowers your risk of depression.
Did you know that 6 million Americans, ages 65 and older suffer from late-life depression? Well, according to researchers from Boston College, an emotionally close grandparent and grandchildren relationship was linked to fewer symptoms of depression.
It helps you become more socially active.
Being socially active is one of the key factors in preventing dementia and other mental health problems in aging adults. There are many ways to maintain an active social life and caring for your grandchildren is one of those.
It helps stimulate your brain.
Your grandchildren, especially the little ones require a lot of mental vigor and flexibility, which is a good thing. If you have teenage grandkids, you also get to learn a lot of new things such as technology, for example. As you learn and challenge your brain, you boost your cognitive function and prevent mental decline.
It gives you a new sense of purpose.
Lastly, as you care for your beloved grandchildren, you rediscover a new sense of responsibility and purpose in life.
For those of you feel that keeping up and maintain a close relationship with your grandkids is a hard task to fulfill, here are 5 Ways to Keep You Connected to Your Grandchildren, despite the distance and generation gap.