Grandkids Can Help Their Grandparents Stay Healthy and Happy. Here’s How
We all know, how grandmas and grandpas love their grandkids. We’ve all been there: spending summer vacations at the grandparents’ house, being enveloped with as much care and love as one can imagine and having their finest pancakes and apple pies.
Many adults are crediting their happiest memories to the time spent with their grandparents. However, there is much more to it than just sweet memories. Spending time with your grandparents is very helpful in terms of health for the seniors. This is no modern mystification or hipster trend. Quite the opposite, there is scientific proof implying that spending quality time with the grandchildren causes astounding health benefits for grandparents.
What’s in It for Grandma and Grandpa
Women’s Healthy Aging Project in Australia conducted a study on grandparenting, taking a closer look at the way it affects cognitive ability. This was the first research in this regard and was focusing on the observation of 186 grandmothers taking care of their grandchildren. When the study came to an end, the researchers were simply amazed at the results.
According to the study, grandmothers looked after their grandchildren just one day a week showed higher resistance to dementia and a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Supposedly, keeping up with the little ones and having to answer their never-ending questions is really helpful in keeping their memory in good trim due to the intensified brain function. Good job, kiddos!
This same study also found that a good grandparent-grandchild relationship plays a big part in preventing social isolation that could result in depression and even earlier death in some cases. Therefore, spending more time with the old folks actually helps to keep them healthy, sharp, happy, and quite possible even making their lives longer.
There Is Also a Bright Side for Grandchildren
According to the data initially collected by the Boston College’s Institute on Aging, a steadfast grandchild-grandparent relationship may prevent depressive tendencies for both the elderly and the youngsters.
The study was focused on the observation of 340 children and 376 grandparents over a 19-year long period (1985-2004). The results showed that the better the relationships between grandparents and grandkids, the lower the probability for experiencing depression for both parties. So, guys, if you have kids, make sure they spend the weekend and as many weeknights as possible with their grandpa and grandma. They both will benefit from it.
However, a recent study showed one shortcoming and it can be a very good excuse for nanas all around the world to escape longtime babysitting routine.
Do Not Abuse Grandparents’ Help
Although it is obviously beneficial for grandparents to spend time with and take care of their grandchildren at least one day a week, it is in the same time not all that good for their health to stay with the kids for 5 days a week or more. According to the research, hanging out with the tots too much could even negatively effect grandparents’ memory and even their capability of processing information quicker. This, in turn, leads to reduced cognitive ability.
Although most people adore their grandparents, it’s critical to acknowledge that our interactions with them cause certain effects on their health. Though the younger generation may feel, like they have all the energy in the universe, the seniors certainly don’t. It’s necessary to find the balance and not overload them with babysitting, while providing with enough time with their grandkids to help prevent unwanted conditions.
Developing a sufficing relationship between grandparents and grandchildren is a wonderful thing to do. Time with them is perhaps one of the best things to teach kids about themselves and the history of their family. It is crucial to have strong and reciprocal relationships between grandkids and grandparents. The research findings point to a win-win solution for parents who want to establish long-lasting, significant relationships with their grandparents. And this could as well be a perfect excuse for having that date night at that new restaurant, at last!
Thus, parents, don’t be afraid of asking grandpas and grandmas to stay with the kids and do not feel bad about it. You are also giving them a helping hand in staying healthy and sharp. However, don’t forget to be wise and not abuse their kindness.
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