Being a grandparent can be a wonderful experience, often bringing new joys and a renewed sense of wonder. As Centennial elder care professionals recently learned, grandkids may also improve longevity.
Most animals die soon after their reproductive years are over. This is not true of humans. Female humans live well past the time when they can bear young of their own. In fact, most people are still in good health when their own children start having babies.
Researchers have found gene variants in many humans that protect them from age-related diseases. Other primates do not show this kind of genetic code. Some scientists believe this information means that natural selection favors grandparents and that human children receive an evolutionary benefit from having living grandparents who are able to assist with their upbringing.
Even if you’re skeptical about the whole genetic argument, though, there is little doubt that being an involved grandparent can improve the quality, if not the quantity, of your life. One study found that being attached to one’s grandchildren is associated with lower levels of depression for both grandparents and grandchildren. Depression is correlated with significant health issues ranging from suicide to cancer. Any relationship that decreases the risk of depression can also lengthen the lifespan. Other studies show that involved grandparents are more mentally sharp than older adults who are not grandparents or who are not involved with their grandchildren.
Mental stimulation and companionship, whether from grandchildren or other family members and friends, helps seniors maintain optimal wellbeing through their golden years. Learn more about senior wellness from Home Care Assistance. In addition to flexible hourly and live-in care, we offer comprehensive dementia and Alzheimer’s care Centennial families trust. Reach out today by calling (303) 957-3100 and speaking with a friendly Care Manager.