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Caring for grandchildren may prolong life

A recent study suggests that there is a link between caring for children and life expectancy in people aged 70 or older.


The study, which was conducted by a group of researchers from around the world, including some from the University of Western Australia, used data from the Berlin Aging Study.

Participants underwent interviews and medical tests at their homes, doctors' practices and hospitals, which were repeated at two-yearly intervals over a period of 19 years.

The researchers distinguished between the nature of the relationship between the caregiver and the children for whom they care for.

The categories consisted of grandparents who gave care to their grandchildren, parents who provided instrumental help to adult children, and childless participants who helped others in their social network.

They found that all helper groups, whether they cared for their grandchildren or participated in another form of childcare, experienced health benefits and, in some cases, prolonged life.

While more work must be done to understand the speci c nature of this link, it seems that the act of caring for children, whether they’re your own or someone else’s, has signi cant health benefits.