An old adage states that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but now a study is saying watching a grandchild one day a week may keep the dementia away! The study done by the Journal of the North American Menopause Society reports that grandparents who babysit their grandkids at least once a week were less likely to develop Alzheimers.
On the other hand, watching grandkids 5 or more days a week was detrimental to their cognitive ability.
Researchers found that Grandmothers (aged 57 – 68) who watched their grandchildren an average of one day a week scored significantly higher on a cognitive ability test than those that watched their grandchildren 5 or more days a week.
Apparently, it’s all about balance!
Another study reported by the Cleveland Clinic found that seniors who provided some care, whether for their grandchildren or for other children, had a lower risk of death over a 20 year period than those who did not care for children.
Researchers believe the social interaction with children keeps grandparents alert and stimulates the brain better than any other activity.
Also, there is a link between providing care and reducing stress. Reducing stress helps people live longer! Thus, providing care to children is one way that older folks can actually reduce stress in their lives.
According to Dr. Ronan Factora, caregiving can also be physically demanding which helps keep the body young.
Another benefit for grandparents babysitting is the social interaction that it provides. You may be playing games, doing crafts or rocking them to sleep, but it is fun and interactive!
Do you spend time with your grandkids on a regular basis? (If the answer is no, you might want to reconsider!)
Grandparents who babysit can live a longer, healthier life!
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