Dr James Brown from Channel 4’s Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds, revealed how spending time with the grandchildren can improve grandparents’ health …
We all know that grandparents love to spend quality time with their grandchildren. However, did you know that it actually has a range of health benefits too?
New research* has revealed that 91% of grandparents felt younger and happier after spending time with their grandkids. Here’s what else the study found, and what it could mean for you…
Grandchildren Are Good For Mental Health
Grandchildren help to improve mental health in older adults
Anybody who spends time around a happy child will feel happier, it’s infectious, and 56% of grandparents asked said that their mental health improved after spending time with their grandchildren. This could be for a number of reasons, such as reducing social isolation, building long-term relationships and enabling a sense of self-worth, all of which have a positive impact on depression and anxiety.
Grandkids Keep You Fit
Anyone with grandchildren will tell you that grandkids help to keep grandparents physically fit
The study also highlighted that 35% of grandparents reported improved physical health from spending time with children. James said: “Children encourage their grandparents to be more active and forget about their physical capabilities. It’s so easy for older adults to define themselves by their inabilities and disabilities. However, spending time with the grandchildren is the perfect opportunity for grandparents to remember just how much they can physically do.”
Grandchildren Can Slow Down Dementia
Spending time with children can help to slow down elements of age-related decline
Spending time with the grandchildren can kick start the process of improving mood, enhancing memory, bettering physical function and reducing loneliness in older adults. All of these benefits can help to slow down elements of age-related decline.
Quality Time Is Hard to Find
Distance and busy schedules stop families spending quality time together
The research also found that unfortunately, in many cases, families live further apart than ever before. And with busy lives it can be difficult for generations to connect. In fact, 40% of grandparents said they live too far away to see their grandkids. Whilst 23% believe their family are too busy to spend time with them. Sadly, 51% of grandparents simply don’t get to see their grandchildren anywhere near as much as they’d like. A further 14% confessing to hardly seeing them at all.
Family Holidays Are Good For Grandparents
A family holiday is a great way to improve memory function and spend more quality time together
As well as improving mood and increasing physical activity, a family holiday can also prompt nostalgic memories in older adults too. This is fundamental to keeping the brain young and improving memory function. James explained: “Autobiographical memory contains the information you have about yourself. For most grandparents, a UK holiday will trigger nostalgic thoughts like ‘I can remember coming here when I was younger’ or ‘I can remember caravan holidays like this when I was a child.’” Sadly though, research found that 60% percent of grandparents are not planning a multigenerational holiday in 2019, despite 78% being open to the possibility.
*Data acquired from Dr James Brown from Channel 4’s Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds and a OnePoll survey of 2,000 grandparents and great-grandparents . The poll was commissioned by by Parkdean Resorts.