This will get Granny and Gramps to say yes next time you need a babysitter! A new study out of Berlin, Germany shows grandparents who occasionally
babysit or help out with kids tend to live longer.
Ironic after all the times parents say raising kids is wearing them out, right?
Researchers for the Berlin Aging Study chronicled more than 500 people, all of whom were between 70 and 100 years or older, and found that for those who were occasional caretakers, the risk of dying over a 20-year period was one third lower than for those who did not take on the role of babysitter or care provider.
According to the study, it's not the same with older people who are the primary caregivers for children; that can have a negative effect on a person's health. But repeated sessions with those in the study, examining their mental and physical health, psychological functioning, and social & economic situations showed that the elderly feel useful when they are caring for others.
Not to mention, babysitting offers ample opportunities for the senior set to keep themselves mentally sharp and physically active. Ten years after the study began, half of the caretakers were still alive.
And it doesn't have to be biological grandchildren or blended family members the elderly are caring for; helping out pays off, no matter what the relation or age of the child. Those who didn't have grandchildren but still found ways to support their adult children in other ways, like helping with housework, had the same positive results.
As for the participants who did not help out, half of them died within five years. Sad. Let's make better choices.