Many of us are lucky enough to have spent time with grandparents who loved and cared for us (and maybe slipped us a treat or two) as children.
But a 2017 study has suggested that caring for grandchildren could actually be good for grandparents too – by helping them live longer!
A study in Berlin on over 500 individuals showed that grandparents who cared for their grandchildren had a 37% lower mortality risk than adults of the same age who did not have any caregiving interaction.
It looks like both the brain and the body’s hormones are given a boost by both parenting and grandparenting. There’s just something about helping others that has beneficial health effects on caregivers.
Of course, that’s no reason to pressure your children into procreating or badgering your way into babysitting. Adding stress to any situation isn’t going to help.
But if you’re a grandparent who has taken on caregiving duties, rest assured that even when you feel like you can’t keep up with an energetic grandchild, the act of caring for him or her may still be doing your body good in the long run.
During the study, Swiss, Australian, and German researchers tracked the health of over 500 people over the age of 70 who took part in something called the Berlin Aging Study in which the habits and behaviors of long-living people were tracked over time. The participants were interviewed about their habits and had their health tested every 2 years between 1990 to 2009.