If you get the call to look after the grandkids this weekend be sure to say yes because, in addition to the fun, joy and love they bring, they also benefit your health and could stave off one of the worst age-related diseases.
A study published in the North American Menopause Society has show that spending a day with your beloved grandkids increases cognitive functions and reduces the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
The Australian study found grandmothers who babysat one day per week scored higher on a range of cognitive tests. This complements numerous studies that show that regular social interaction helps us stay more mentally sharp. By contrast, lack of social interaction can cause depression and even death.
It has also been shown that hanging out with the grandies reduces the risk of depression. A study by the Institute on Ageing at Boston College found that the closer the relationship between the grandparents and their little people, the less likely either were to develop depression.
However, there is a caveat – the Women’s Health Aging Project in Australia observed that grandparents who looked after their grandchildren five days a week or more were actually more at risk of developing neurodegenerative disorders.
Do you love spending time with your grandkids? What are your favourite activities?