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Gainesville Florida Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Want to Live Longer? Help with the Grandkids

 

We’re always looking for ways to live healthier and longer. Results of a European study that were released recently indicate one way to live longer is to help raise grandchildren.

The study was conducted between 1990 and 2009 and included 500 people who were over age 70. Participants completed interviews and medical tests every two years.

The results indicated that the risk of dying during the 20-year study period was one-third lower for grandparents who cared for their grandchildren, compared with grandparents who did not provide any childcare.

Of the grandparents who cared for grandchildren, half were still alive 10 years after the study started initial interviews. The same was true for participants who did not have grandchildren but supported their adult children in some way, such as helping with housework. That contrasted with those who did not help with grandchildren. Half of that group died within five years of the start of the study.

The study did not consider grandparents who were primary caregivers for children; only those who helped occasionally.

While this was a relatively small study, it reinforces some things that we already know.

Being as active as is reasonably possible helps prolong health. Not only is the physical activity a positive, it also gives people a purpose. And being able to interact in a useful way with family is certainly good for our seniors.

So if you are part of that sandwich generation – dealing with both aging parents and young children – it is important for you to consider how best your parents can serve a useful role in your family.


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