The Brain Benefits of Interacting with Grandchildren

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Grandparents and Grandkids: A Perfect Partnership

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There’s nothing quite like that magic moment when a grandparent meets his or her new grandchild for the first time. There is a sense of completeness and fulfillment in knowing that their child has grown up and added a precious new member to the family tree.

As wonderful as grandchildren are in their own right, they also play an important role in the health and well-being of their grandparents. Studies demonstrate that older adults who play babysitter reap benefits beyond the pleasure of spending time with the little tykes. Cognitive function, which tends to decline as people grow older, is higher among those who regularly keep company with young kids. Sharing books, helping with homework, teaching a skill, and planting a garden do more than provide hours of enjoyment; these activities help keep grandparents’ brains sharp. If you fear that your aging parent isn’t able to properly look after your rambunctious kids on their own, you can hire the help of an hourly caregiver in Grand Rapids who can assist with everything from meal preparation to safety monitoring.

What’s more, the social interaction and sense of responsibility and purpose that accompany this special relationship keep depression and feelings of isolation at bay. Since it’s been proven time and time again that lowered moods directly affect physical health, these fun multi-generational family gatherings are beneficial for everyone involved.

Family caregiving also gives rise to healthier habits, such as an increase in activity and exercise, and fewer negative habits like overeating and smoking. As grandparents and grandchildren share activities—a visit to a zoo, gardening, playing games, sharing a meal — you’ll soon realize if you haven’t already that the intergenerational rewards are priceless.

For more information on how an hourly or 24/7 senior care provider from Grand Rapids Home Care Assistance  could help facilitate these get-togethers in a safe environment, for both the aging parent and the kids, give us a call at 616-243-0835. We’d be happy to set in a free in-home consultation so that you’re entire family can meet with one of our Care Managers to discuss your needs, desires and questions.