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Research Finds That Grandmothers Who Babysit Are Less Likely to Develop Dementia

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Who doesn’t love spending time with grandma? Shopping trips, homemade cookies, and hours of snuggling are just a few things that come to mind when I remember my own grandmother.

Sadly, many children grow up with one extreme or the other. Some are so young when their grandparents pass, they don’t remember them aside from photos and stories that have been passed down.

Still, others are raised by their grandparents. For one reason or another, their parents don’t play an active role in their lives, so it’s up to grandma or grandpa to step up to the parenting plate.

Girl playing pat-a-cake with her grandmother
Girl playing pat-a-cake with her grandmother (Photo by Elizabethsalleebauer/Getty Images)

A 2014 study conducted in Australia by the Women’s Healthy Aging Project brought about some very interesting results in regard to post-menopausal women.

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It turns out, a particular group of women within this demographic scored higher on the three cognitive tests given by the study, but one very important factor made all the difference.

Spending time with their grandchildren. And not just spending time with them, but actually acting as their main caregiver one day a week.

The key is believed to be interaction. Unfortunately, many seniors live out their later years alone, without their children or grandchildren around.

However, those grandmothers who avoid isolation, the ones who babysit their grandkids, are less likely to end up with mental health conditions ranging from depression to Alzheimer’s and dementia. And why not?

Grandmother kissing grandson on the cheek
Grandmother kissing grandson on the cheek (Photo by Bloom Productions/Getty Images)

We all need a good dose of healthy interaction with our family and friends. Premature babies do better when offered physical touch regularly, so why would an elderly person be any different?

However, the same research also showed that balance played a factor. Everything in moderation, right?

Those grandmothers who spent too much time caring for their grandchildren, five days each week or longer, scored lower.

The women in this lower-scoring group are considered to be more likely to develop neurodegenerative problems and diseases.

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In the end, it’s all about balance. Close relationships between a grandma and grandchild are healthy, but, depending on the grandma, too much could do more harm than good.

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Sarah Carri is an avid reader and social media guru with a passion for truth and life. Her writing has previously been published in print and online by Focus on the Family and other well known media outlets. Her experience in ministry and Disney entertainment gives her a unique perspective on such topics.
Sarah Carri is an avid reader and social media guru with a passion for truth and life. Her writing has previously been published in print and online by Focus on the Family and other well known media outlets. Her experience in ministry and Disney entertainment gives her a unique perspective on such topics.

Sarah's experience as a successful working stay-at-home mom and business owner has given her the chance to write and research often. She stays up to date on the latest in entertainment and offers her views on celebrity stories based on her wide knowledge of the industry. Her success as a former preschool teacher and licensed daycare provider lend to her know-how on topics relating to parenting and childhood education.

Her thoughts on faith and family issues stem from home life and ministry work. Sarah takes time to attend workshops and classes annually that help her to improve and hone her writing craft. She is a graduate of the Institute of Children's Literature program and her writing has been acclaimed by ACFW and ECPA.
Education
Institute of Children's Literature, Art Institute of Phoenix (Advertising), University of California Irvine (Theater), Snow College (Early Childhood Education)
Location
Arizona
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Entertainment, Faith




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