5 Amazing Benefits of Being a Grandparent

Grandchildren can keep you alert and active into your golden years.


Family, Wellness
Playing brain games with grandchildren.

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Your grandchildren are treasures that do more than just make you smile. They can help you keep active and sharper into your golden years. In fact, spending time with your grandchildren comes with a wide range of physical and emotional health benefits, according to Lifetime Daily.

But being a grandparent benefits the grandkids too. Strong family connections decrease loneliness and depression across the generations, according to Love to Know. Bonding with grandparents can give children love and family connections which will make them feel more safe and secure.

This is so important that SAGA, an insurance and travel company in the UK, gives employees a week of grandparent leave. The company also allows grandchildren to attend its onsite daycare center.

So give your grandchildren some unconditional love and reap some health and wellness advantages yourself. Here are five benefits of being a grandparent:

Helps your Cognitive Skills Remain Sharp

Spending time with your grandchildren is good for your brain health, especially if you are not a full-time caregiver. An Australian study, published in Menopause, studied the role of grandparenting in senior women’s cognitive health. The study  found that the women who cared for their grandchildren once a week showed the highest performance on memory and mental tests than women who spend more or less time with their grandchildren, according to The Healthy.

“Interaction with other people could cause stimulation of certain nerve pathways that are beneficial to our brain,” Sharon Brangman, MD, a board member of the Health and Aging Foundations at the American Geriatrics Society, told The Healthy.

A woman babysitting her granddaughter.

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Keeps You Physically Active

Spending time with grandchildren can also keep you active. Whether it is pushing your grandchildren in a baby carriage or playing catch in the backyard, physical activity is good for healthy seniors. But activity isn’t limited to physical exercise. Going to a museum,  an amusement park, or a shopping mall, is also a way to keep grandparents active.

“Grandparents are more likely [than older adults without grandchildren] to get up, get dressed, walk somewhere, and be physically active,” said Kristine Arthur, MD, an internist at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley, California. “One of the biggest things I tell older adults is to not stop moving, even if it’s a small activity

Teaching the grandchildren how to play soccer.

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Makes You Less Lonely

Having grandchildren around keeps you more social and helps combat loneliness, according to Lifetime Daily. Loneliness increased during the Covid-19 pandemic and this led to increased depression. That’s why spending time with other people is so vitally important.  

In fact, a unpublished study from Boston University about the effect of a close relationship between grandparents and grandchildren had a measurable effect on the psychological wellbeing of both, according to a news release from the college.

“We found that an emotionally close grandparent-adult grandchild relationship was associated with fewer symptoms of depression for both generations,” sociology assistant professor Sara Moorman, who led the research said in the news release.

Grandmother baking with her granddaughter.

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Keeps You Learning

When you interact with your grandchildren while they learn and explore, these activities can also help your brain, according to The Healthy. This is especially true if seniors play word games like scrabble, memory games, or strategy games like chess. In fact, learning anything new can boost your cognitive ability and help keep you sharp. “With memory decline being one of the biggest things people fear, any time you learn something new, it’s a big deal,” Arthur told The Healthy.

Doing a puzzle can keep you learning.

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Could Help Your Immune System

Hugging and touching your grandchildren could actually strengthen your immune system. That’s because when people are exposed to touch, they experience a decrease in inflammatory cells and an increase in red blood cells that can help you stave off infections, according to Arthur.

Touch actually promotes dopamine and serotonin releases that help you experience a sense of wellbeing and happiness, reported The Conversation, as well as oxytocin releases which helps to build social bonds, But more importantly, touch decreases cortisol which leads to a decrease in stress.

So hug your grandchildren, play like a child and experience the world of wonder from seeing the world from their eyes. Being a grandparent is one of the best things in life!

Hugs can keep you healthy.

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