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Good news for babysitters...

By Reem Antoon

Those who know me will tell you that I do not think much of studies, or surveys because they seem to change overnight.

One time something is good for you and the next moment it isn’t. One day you should do this and the next you shouldn’t.

However, a few days ago, I came across an article that caught my eye and well this particular case I would have to believe in the study!

And if, like me you are lucky enough to have parents who help care for their grandchildren then this news will make you happy.

A 2017 study found that grandparents who babysat children lived longer lives. So three cheers for Nana and Jidoo popping over to help out, right?

The data in the Berlin Aging Study, collected from 500 seniors and published in Evolution and Human Behaviour, found that it didn’t matter if it was seniors’ own grandchildren or not. Those who provided some care, whether for their grandchildren or for others, had a lower risk of death over a 20-year period than those who did not help others.

“We know that as you age, you want to stay physically active; you want to stay socially engaged; you want to be cognitively stimulated; and all those things allow you to age well,” says Dr Ronan Factora, of Cleveland Clinic.

Though further research is needed to figure out what causes the increased life expectancy for aging caregivers, the researchers offer a number of explanations: spending time with grandchildren is a good way for older people to have a sense of purpose, while keeping them physically and mentally active.

This is kind of ironic since so many of us parents say raising children is wearing us out!

So mum, dad any chance you can babysit next weekend?

Reem Antoon is a former GDN news editor. She can be reached on:

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