If you’ve got grandkids, I’m sure you’re already over the moon for them.
But here’s a reason to love them even more: They can help you live longer!
It’s as if that youth can rub off on you, because new research out of Germany finds grandparents who help out with the little ones have a lower risk of death from all causes.
Overall, they’re a third less likely to die over 20 years than older folks who don’t watch their grandkids.
The reason’s pretty simple, and it comes down to staying active and engaged.
We all know of some older folks who suddenly stop coming around, often after a spouse dies. They withdraw, turn in, and practically vanish — and a rapid decline in health usually follows.
Next thing you know, you’re attending a funeral.
Helping out with the grandkids forces you to get out, get active, and stay focused on what’s going on around you — and that’s some pretty powerful medicine, my friend. Seniors who keep active and engaged have sharper minds and better overall health.
Watching the little ones also gives you some purpose, and this isn’t just New Age mumbo-jumbo. A strong sense of purpose can actually play a key role in your health and longevity.
If you don’t have grandkids, don’t be too jealous. You can get similar benefits simply by helping others, including your own adult kids or even just friends who need a little assistance, according to the study.
Joining clubs or social groups — even a weekly trip to the bingo hall or poker night with your buddies — can also do the trick.
But if you DO have grandkids, is there anyone else you’d rather spend that time with?
Of course not!
You might be “helping” by watching them, but they’re helping you just as much by spreading a little of that youth and cheer around. And if the new study is any indication, they’re spreading some youthful good health, too.
The own downside to grandkids is right in the name — and it’s not the “grand” part. They’re kids, so if you’re with them enough, they’ll drive you nuts and wear you out.
That can put a strain on anyone, even their parents (I’m sure you remember those days).
But for grandparents? That can actually take a toll on your health. As a result, the study finds that older folks who have full-time custody of their grandkids are actually a little LESS healthy overall.
So, spend time with them, enjoy them, and spoil them rotten. Just remember to give them back.