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Grandparents Who Babysit Are Less Likely to Develop Alzheimer’s

Grandchildren add joy to the lives of grandparents, but now a study shows that they may add something else dealing with Alzheimer’s prevention depending on the circumstances. In fact, the North American Menopause Society did a study of 120 grandparents who lived in Australia. They found that grandparents who babysat their grandkids once a week had a significant score that was higher on a range of cognitive tests than grandparents who didn’t babysit, lessening the chance of Alzheimer’s. But why?

Test results explained

First, the test results of reduced development of Alzheimer’s and dementia when thought out makes sense. For aging grandparents, watching grandkids once a week produced neurological stimulation by the love and interchange in having charge of the grandkids. So the feeling of being needed, having a purpose and being connected helped to ward off brain deterioration. Research showed also that giving and receiving love enhanced life satisfaction as well. So with an extended family being part of daily life, Alzheimer’s prevention as well as the need for Alzheimer’s care can be reduced for everyone’s benefit then.

However, if babysitting grandkids was done daily, it was shown that this could cause stress which impaired neurological stability instead. This part of the study though was dependent on the health and well-being of the grandparents when babysitting. So if the grandparents were healthy and thought that they weren’t being taken advantage of, then the stress of babysitting grandkids more than one day a week was still less than not watching them at all.

The strong bond

The research from the Institute on Aging at Boston College also found that a grandparent’s brains additionally benefited as grandchildren grew into adulthood. Here, if the grandparents had a strong bond with the grandchild, then depression in the grandparents was less likely to occur. The tests further showed that depression was less likely to develop in either of them if there was a close bond too. So what makes a bond strong?

One of the ties that binds is if the child feels very emotionally close to either or both grandparents. Plus; if the child has had contact with the grandparents regularly. Also, if the child considers the grandparent to be a source of social support. Children who bond to grandparents will have a stronger sense of self then additionally.

So, it seems grandchildren not only make grandparents feel young, but keep them healthy too.

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