Want Your Parents to Live Longer? Let Them Babysit Your Kids, Study Suggests
Here’s important info on American women and how they are trying to find the right balance between taking care of the kids, careers and their own lifestyle.
How Many Mothers
43.5 million: Number of women between the ages of 15 and 50 who have children. These mothers gave birth to 95.8 million children
3.9 million: Number of women between the ages of 15 and 50 who gave birth in the past 12 months
How Many Children
62.9: Number of births per 1,000 women age 15-44 in 2014, up slightly (less than 1 percent) from 2013
61.8%: Percentage of women age 16 to 50 who had a birth in the past 12 months who were in the labor force.
9.9 million: The number of single mothers living with children younger than age 18 in 2015, up from 7.7 million in 1985
862,043: Number of people employed at one of the 74,939 child day care services across the country in 2013. In addition, there were 688,728 child day care services without paid employees in 2013. Many mothers turn to these centers to help juggle motherhood and careers, based on above data from infoplease.
Despite all the help we Moms and Dads get from day care centers and baby sitters, sometimes it feels like we could still use a little more help. Ha!
Now this is where our parents come in!
It turns out that grandparents who babysit their grandchildren get more than just good memories — they might actually live longer, according to a new study, which was also published in the Miami Herald.
The study, published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior, examined data from the Berlin Aging Study of over 500 people at least 70 years old, according to Action News Jax.
Seniors who provided a child with some type of care had a significantly lower risk of death over a 20-year period than their counterparts who did not watch over a child, according to ClevelandClinic.org.
There is one fairly important caveat, however: Grandparents who were the primary caregivers for their grandchildren were not included in the study.
Dr. Ronan Factora, of Cleveland Clinic, who was not a part of the study, said “there is a link between providing this care and reducing stress and we know the relationship between stress and higher risk of dying.”
“If providing care to grandchildren and others in need is one way that can actually reduce stress,” he said, “then these activities should be of benefit to folks who are grandparents and provide this care to their grandkids.”
There are also several other benefits that come with taking care of a child, Factorsa said.
“We know that as you age, you want to stay physically active,” he said. “You want to stay socially engaged; you want to be cognitively stimulated; and all those things allow you to age well.”
But he added that devoting too much of your energy to taking care of your grandchild can actually increase your stress levels — which would counteract the health benefits found in the study.
“You want to make sure that you find that right balance between getting the positive benefits of doing enough of an activity to help those in need,” he said, “and avoiding doing too much and getting to the point where the activity makes one overly stressed.”
Another study from researchers in Australia found that a moderate amount of time spent babysitting grandchildren could actually prevent Alzheimer’s Disease, according to WFAA8. That’s thought to happen because babysitting can amp up brain power and lower the chances of developing depression, according to USA Today.