There is even more reason to send your kids to your parents when you need someone to watch them. Not only do grandparents provide a safe, fun, and free childcare option–one study shows that grandparents tend to live longer. The study was conducted by the University of Basel in Switzerland and included interviews with 500 grandparents from 1990-1993. The results were shocking.
Studies showed that half of the grandparents who cared for their grandchildren lived for ten more years following the interviews. Half of the grandparents who did not care for their grandchildren died within the next five years following the study.
The Cleveland Clinic also reported on this issue with Ronan Factora, M.D who, while not a part of the study conducted, said that there were multiple benefits to raising grandchildren as it allowed senior citizens to stay mentally stimulated and cognitively sharp–two things that contribute to aging well according to Dr. Factora.
“There is a link between providing this care and reducing stress and we know the relationship between stress and a higher risk of dying,” said Dr. Factora. “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.”
Providing childcare can be physically demanding, which can help seniors keep their bodies moving. But if caregiving proves to be too overwhelming, the Clinic says that adverse effects could occur as stress adds to the negative side effects of aging.