General Health

It’s Official. Grandparents Who Babysit Live Longer

Hey Nana. Take ALL the grandbabies! 

And bring on a kid-free night for us parents (HOORAY!)

Forget healthy eating and regular exercise. The secret to a longer life lies in the grandkids.

Turns out, letting Nana and Papa take the kids off your hands for a few hours is not only good for you (and your sanity), but also for them!

Researchers say so. And we aren’t about to argue with researchers.

A grandchild a day keeps the doctor away

Researchers found grandparent babysitters had a 37 per cent lower mortality risk than adults of the same age with no caring responsibilities. The data was collected from 500 adults from the Berlin Aging Study (BASE), a database of people aged 70 or older living in the former West Berlin.

“Grandparents who babysit their grandchildren tend to live longer than seniors who do not care for other people.”

The study found that taking care of children keeps the older generation active, gives them a sense of purpose and helps relieve stress. Watching wee ones can also keep the brain healthy and have a positive impact on mental health and assists in keeping the brain healthy.

After all, is there anything better for your mental health than a cuddle from your grandchild? The study also found that babysitting OTHER people’s kids is also beneficial to the older generation. But we won’t tell Nana that bit.

All babysitting and no bingo makes Nan a nut job

Of course, there are a few lines of fine print in the study. Like everything in life, it’s all about moderation. So grandparents who babysit live longer. But too much time with the grandkids can cancel out those health benefits, the study suggests.

“You want to make sure that you find that right balance where you are doing what you can to stay active, doing good for the folks that you’re helping out with, but don’t do too much where you get to the point where you’re overly stressed,” says Dr Ronan Factora, of the Cleveland Clinic.

So bring on the sleepovers and play dates at Nana and Papa’s house. Just don’t forget to pick the kiddies up at some stage.

Otherwise you might just end up like this mum, who got a huge shock when Grandma sent a hefty bill For her granddaughter’s visit

Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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