Could babysitting a grandchild be a conduit for Alzheimer’s prevention?
According to a Women’s Health Aging Project in Australia, it could be! The 2014 study looked at elderly women who devote a part of their week to babysitting their grandchildren. The study concluded that “postmenopausal women who spend one day a week caring for their grandchildren may have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s and other cognitive disorders.”
The Benefits of Social Interaction
As this study is the first of it’s kind, the scientific method has yet to provide a well-supported reason for this phenomenon. Although the science is still young, it has been long believed that social interaction can help stay the effects of Alzheimer’s. This is connected to the fact that time spent with the loved ones can stay depression and loneliness.
Within the caregiving community, it is believed that regular social interaction can prevent cognitive decline. Ask any home care provider in Boynton Beach and they will tell you, Alzheimer’s prevention begins with social engagement.
If an individual is engaged in their community, they are more likely to be active, learning new skills, engaging in meaningful conversations, laughing, etc. All of these aforementioned activities engage and promote mental stimulation.
Thus, the regular time spent with small children acts as a form of beneficial social interaction. This phenomenon is thusly amplified through the joy that occurs from spending time with with children.
The Anti-Depressive Effects of Children
The benefits of social interaction are only enhanced with children. It is believed that spending time with children is great for staving off mental illness and depression. A study conducted by Kumiko Morita and Minako Kobyashi looked at the effects of cross-generational quality time on senior citizens. They concluded that older adults “demonstrate a higher frequency of smiling and conversation when interacting with preschool children.”
This emphasis on positivity can be explained by the benefits of spending time with children. Younger kids tend to possess an uninhibited creativity, a love of ‘play,’ and a youthful vibrancy. All of these things coalesce to create an anti-depressive atmosphere for elderly individuals.
Thus, when a senior citizen devotes time to a young one or grandchild, they are engaging in social interaction, positivity, and a healthy dosage of smiling. So, the next time grandpa babysits, he is doing the parents a favor and preventing Alzheimer’s! Everyone wins!
If you’re loved one is showing signs of Alzheimer’s and could benefit from help at home, don’t hesitate to seek out elderly assistance services in Delray Beach, FL.
Thanks to Expicare Nursing Agency for their insight into home nursing care and Alzheimer’s prevention.