Study: Grandparenting helps keep older adults' minds sharp - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Study: Grandparenting helps keep older adults' minds sharp

“If you don’t use it, you lose it kind of deal and if you don’t keep moving, and you don’t keep around young people, you get old and sedentary,” King said. “If you don’t use it, you lose it kind of deal and if you don’t keep moving, and you don’t keep around young people, you get old and sedentary,” King said.
(KFVS) -

There's nothing like spending time with your grandchildren.

Not only is it fun, but a new study shows it's also good for your mental health.

Experts say a little bit of grandparenting goes a long way when it comes to keeping your mind sharp.

Reading books, playing games, going to the park, all things that spark young minds and imaginations. However, it's not all for the kids.

Research shows grandmas and grandpas who babysit really benefit.

Little Evie and grandma sure get along great and big brother Will agrees that there's nothing like a day with grandma.

“I get to make memories with them,” Susan King said.

King said spending time with her grandkids keeps her young.

“You're never slowed down, you know, it never ends,” King said.

It's that kind of busyness that researchers found beneficial for older adults memories.

According to the study out of the University of Melbourne, keeping the grandkids at least one day a week can help prevent chronic illnesses like dementia and Alzheimer's disease. It's especially beneficial for grandparents older than 65.

“I take them around to my mother who is having a lot of memory problems and it's the one thing that makes her happy,” King said.

That's why King said, for as long as she can, she'll keep grandparenting.

“If you don't use it, you lose it kind of deal and if you don't keep moving, and you don't keep around young people, you get old and sedimentary,” King said.

Plus, she said it's about remembering what's really important.

“Taking time to pick the flowers with your grandkids is what life's all about,” King said.

A key factor in these finding is how “much” time is spent with the grandkids. The study found grandparents who were caring for the grandkids a lot, up to five days a week, scored lower on cognitive tests than those who cared for them one day a week.

Copyright 2015 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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