Can Caring for Grandchildren Prevent Dementia and Alzheimer's?
Without a doubt, the childhood of every child is enormously infected by the moments shared with their grandparents. Likewise, this beautiful and nurturing relationship also has incalculable advantages for the elderly, as science has shown that caring for grandchildren helps prevent cognitive problems.
Not only do children benefit from those wise beings who indulge, protect, and love them excessively, but grandparents also gain from this bond. Taking care of grandchildren helps prevent the appearance of some of the typical diseases of old age, such as senile dementia and Alzheimer’s.
A scientific study that revolutionized the world
This recent but more controversial and hopeful medical study was presented by Alzheimer’s and senile dementia specialist Jonathan LaPook. It determines that caring for grandchildren is an activity that could well prevent cognitive decline in grandparents.
According to the report, keeping older people busy taking care of younger ones forces them to stay active for a while. It requires the activation of various mental processes, in addition to making an extra physical effort that also keeps them in shape.
This is because certain games require physical activity such as running, while many others involve some mental activity on the part of the adult to follow specific instructions. However, parents shouldn’t abuse this possibility, as this activity should be done in moderation.
Of course, caring for grandchildren is an extremely demanding activity for the elderly, which is why the researchers pointed out that more than 5 days a week could take their toll sooner rather than later, causing fatigue and transforming pleasure into body aches of all kinds.
The details of this hopeful study
This recent research published in the journal of the North American Menopause Society reveals that both grandchildren and grandparents mutually benefit from spending time together: Little ones receive care and education while their grandparents stay active longer.
In fact, grandparents, by caring for grandchildren, can prevent both cognitive decline and chronic diseases related to age ailments, such as Alzheimer’s or senile dementia. This is because, in this way, they manage to maintain their mental sharpness.
To arrive at this moving conclusion, the cases of 186 Australian women between the ages of 57 and 68 were analyzed. These subjects underwent various tests of mental acuity, and the researchers also analyzed their demands and obligations at the family level.
Out of the total of women studied, 120 claimed to spend at least one day caring for their grandchildren. Surprisingly, it was precisely this group that was able to best solve the tests carried out. So, this activity could have positive physical and emotional demands on your mind and body.
Consequently, children become a source of satisfaction for grandparents, as long as they’re not subjected to strong parenting stress, as it benefits them to enjoy those fun aspects that both share and enjoy. Therefore, the adult releases endorphins, they feel useful, and their brain remains active.
So, we already know that not only will our children be more than grateful for spending quality time with their grandparents, but it also entails a series of advantages for the elderly. And the best thing is that both will be filled with energy, love, and, especially, life.
Moderation in caring for grandchildren
However, the study maintains that in order for the benefits of these wise and loving beings to be optimal, it’s convenient for the care of the grandchildren to be moderate. In excess, it could lead to physical wear and tear and stress for the elderly.
The report revealed that those grandmothers who reported caring for children for more than five days a week fared worse on tests specially designed to assess their memory and the speed of the mental process of work.
This way, with this result, it was also shown that, when taking care of the grandchildren for longer, the feeling of pressure and demand on the part of their children towards them increases, meaning humor would play a fundamental role in this beneficial habit.
Although both children and the adults enjoy and benefit from each other’s company, we mustn’t forget that they’re older people, who’ve surely lost some of the energy and vitality that they had years ago, so they deserve to have their moments of absolute tranquillity.
In other words, as long as grandparents are able and willing, they can help with the care of the grandchildren, always avoiding abuse and excesses, as they must also dedicate time to themselves, in addition to being able to enjoy their “golden age”.
The benefits of the grandparent-grandchild relationship
When we remember our past, we understand that our grandparents have made an indelible mark during our childhood that will accompany us for life. They were those retired parents who were more relaxed and willing to pamper us to no end and give everything in order to allow us to enjoy life.
The elderly play a fundamental role in the family nucleus. Without their help and dedication, parents and children wouldn’t have vital support to get ahead. More precisely, that close relationship between grandchildren and grandparents constitutes a strong and unique connection while innumerable and pleasant moments are shared.
It’s a bond where both parties nurture one another, as it not only manages to generate a certain sense of well-being but also brings certain health benefits to those who are aging, as they feel active and participate in their upbringing, while children learn and they enjoy their unconditional love.
Likewise, science has proven that children who grow up close to their grandparents are happier because of the amount of love, attention, fun, and company they receive. While grandparents relax observing and participating in the children’s games, they find a special being that produces confidence in them.
As you can see, both parties mutually benefit, revealing the need and importance of fostering a close bond between grandchild and grandparent. After all, what could be better than seeing the generations that came before us and those that followed us together, happy, and healthy?It might interest you...