For most seniors, spending time with grandchildren provides a joy unlike any other. But did you know that by regularly interacting with your grandchildren, you also may experience tangible health benefits?
Grandparents Day is Sept. 11, and it’s a great time to celebrate the ways in which spending time with grandchildren improves our lives.
How Does Babysitting Grandchildren Boost Your Health?
Research has found that senior men and women may experience better health when they have regular contact with loved ones. Even communicating through Facebook and other social media platforms can help bolster healthy aging. View how the members of the Cypress of Charlotte stay active and engaged on our Facebook page!
Babysitting grandchildren, specifically, is connected to lower rates of depression. One study found that women who spend a day each week taking care of grandchildren may have a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s and other types of cognitive problems. In addition, caring for grandchildren can help ward off social isolation, which can lead to depression and earlier death in seniors.
And those video games your grandchild is always playing? You may want to join in, too! Playing a video game once a week or more frequently has shown a link to positive mood, better social function and stronger feelings of well-being.
Making the Most of Your Time Together
Especially if you don’t see your grandchildren often, you want to make the most of the time you’re able to spend together. You benefit in many ways from the interaction, and your grandchild does as well.
Be sure to take the opportunity to play and have fun together — and try to see the world through a child’s eyes. Consider activities like:
- Going outdoors to visit a park or the beach, or simply taking a nature walk or day hike in your area.
- Sharing your hobbies, such as gardening, painting or making crafts. You may be surprised at how interested your grandchild will be.
- Reveling in doing nothing. As a grandparent, you’re free from the responsibilities of parenting, and you can simply enjoy your time with your grandchild. Take time to just talk and learn more about each other.
Not Just for Kids
Even if your grandchildren aren’t children anymore, your health may benefit from spending time with them. One study found that when seniors and adult grandchildren maintain a close bond, both individuals have fewer symptoms of depression.
The closer the relationship, the more benefits were found in fighting depression. Researchers attribute the mutual benefits to grandparents and adult grandchildren providing emotional support to each other.
Grandchildren of all ages love visiting The Cypress of Charlotte. Our 63-acre campus includes water features, gardens, walking trails and multiple amenities. It’s the perfect setting for spending a fun day with your grandchild. To schedule a visit, please contact us today!