Grandparents who take care of their grandkids are less lonely, study finds
There are some GREAT benefits for grandparents looking after their grandkids!
Not only do they get to spend a heap of quality time with their offspring’s offspring, they live longer and they’re also less likely to be lonely.
Grandparents feel less lonely when they look after their grandkids
A new study has found that taking care of grandchildren may actually boost self-esteem and help people feel young again.
Almost 4,000 grandparents were asked a series of questions by researchers at Universitatsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.
Questions included: ‘How many people are you close to?’
Those who didn’t care for their grandchildren indicated they felt more lonely and experienced social isolation compared to those who provided childcare for their grandkids.
Experts believe that caring for a little one has many positive impacts, including expanding their social circle.
“Assisting their families to balance work and family by providing supplementary grandchild care may boost grandparents’ self-esteem, and may also facilitate ongoing positive relationships with their children and grandchildren,” says lead author Professor Eleanor Quirke.
“Moreover, caring for grandchildren may also expand the social circle of grandparents and allow for further opportunities to establish relationships with other parents or grandparents.”
STUDY confirms grandparents who babysit may live longer!
Meanwhile, another study found that grandparents are more likely to live longer if they look after their grandchildren.
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.
Researchers 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.
“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 ageing.
“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,” added Dr. Factora.