And it's beneficial for all the family!
In a study carried out by the University of Western Australia the University of Basel, and the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, researchers found that grandparents who babysit have an incredible “37 percent lower mortality rate” than their peers who do not have any caring responsibilities, as reported in more detail by the NHS.
While science can’t pinpoint why there’s such a difference in life expectancy between the two groups of seniors, they have come up with a logical reason. They believe that by being on call to help look after the younger members of the family, the seniors develop a sense of purpose. Coupled with the fact that they need to be physically and mentally fit to run after the grandkids, these factors seem to justify the study’s findings.
As tired parents across the country might now be racing to the phone to encourage the grandparents to come and babysit, bear in mind that looking after kids is exhausting and grandparents need to be up to the task. However, you can always try leaving your little ones for short spaces of time just to give your parents the opportunity to feel needed, less lonely, and to build that precious relationship. If they really can’t babysit, for practical or physical reasons, try scheduling regular video calls so the young and old can have something to look forward to.
There are more details as to how the research was carried out here.
Since you are here…
…we’d like to have one more word with you. We are excited to report that Aleteia’s readership is growing at a rapid rate, world-wide! Our team proves its mission every day by providing high-quality content that informs and inspires a Christian life. But quality journalism has a cost and it’s more than ads can cover. We want our articles to be accessible to everyone, free of charge, but we need your help. To continue our efforts to nourish and inspire our Catholic family, your support is invaluable. Become an Aleteia Patron today for as little as $3 a month. May we count on you?