NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Grandparents who take care of grandchildren or help their children with household chores occasionally survive longer than grandparents who have not given any kind of care to others, according to a recent study.
Older people who support others are older, according to a recent scientific study. The results of the study published on November 2016, “The Journal of Evolution and Human Behavior”, indicate that older people who care for their grandchildren or other people reflect positively on their health and even age.
The study, involving researchers from German and Australian universities, was based on data collected in Berlin, Germany, from 1990 to 2009. The study included a sample of more than 500 people between the ages of 70 and 103 years.
Contrary to all the studies on this subject, the researchers excluded from their studies grandparents who are constantly caring for the grandchildren. On the other hand, they made comparisons between grandparents who take care of grandchildren from time to time and those who do not care for grandchildren, and older people who do not have children or grandchildren but who take care of others in their social environment.
The results of the study showed that half the sample of grandparents who observe grandchildren or help their children in domestic chores from time to time survived for 10 years after the interview in 1990. Half of the grandparents who did not provide any kind of care to others died within 5 Years of 1990 interview. In contrast, half of the older sample had no children but cared for others who lived for seven years after meeting them in 1990, while those who did not care for one had survived for only four years.
“Older people may not have children or grandchildren, but caring for their neighbors or friends will have a positive effect and keep them alive for longer.” David Cool David Call, co-researcher at Edith Cowan University for the journal Science. He adds that if the elderly can do anything as popular as sports or meeting friends may also help to prolong his life. Kohl says they are expanding the study to investigate health differences among older people who care for others and their peers who do not.
Previous studies have shown that oxytocin secretion increases in the blood of people who take care of others. Oxytocin is the hormone responsible for reducing stress and is also known as the hormone of love. According to the National Institutes of Health, oxytocin reduces stress levels, lowers blood pressure, maintains good mood and increases pain tolerance. In addition to the hormone of love, helping others also increases the secretion of the hormone happiness or Endorphins, which contributes to strengthening the immune system and protects the elderly from diseases.
Ability to give
Dr. Mustafa Ibrahim, a specialist in the medicine and health of the elderly and age sciences at Ain Shams University, agrees exactly with the results of the study. He sees that the elderly person is someone who is capable of giving and not just someone who is waiting for death. He explains that geriatric medicine is divided into three sections: preventive medicine calls on older people to participate in cultural and social activities, therapeutic medicine concerned with their physical and psychological health problems, and finally developmental medicine where the elderly transfer their experiences to others in the same field of work or develop talent or participate in projects Such as agricultural projects or handicrafts. Many countries and organizations, such as the World Health Organization (WHO), have begun to develop “active aging” concepts and policies to keep older people physically and socially active.
An important societal role
Dr. Hala Yusri, professor of sociology and family consultant, also praises the study and says such studies are very important. The older segment has been marginalized for years. “When the elderly person is committed to caring for others, he has the feeling that he is still young, which will benefit him both health and socially.” Yousri also sees an important role for the elderly in the upbringing of society and the consolidation of religious and moral values, ideals and positive customs within the family, which are currently in a state of great disintegration.
Dr. Mohammed Shawki Khater, Assistant Professor and Consultant of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Ain Shams University, agrees with Dr. Hala Al-Rai. He adds that the tender maintains the balance of mental health and protects the elderly from loneliness and depression, “as long as his interest outside himself will remain in good mental health.”
Tender without excessive
Doctors put a lot of caveats on the activity of older people and care for their grandchildren or others. Excessive physical exertion may seriously harm the elderly. The physical burdens of both grandchildren and others can affect the elderly person with extreme stress. Psychologically, an intellectual, cultural and technological clash between him and the generation of grandchildren may also be psychologically damaging to him because of his intellectual inability to accept the changes of the times. Dr. Khater advises grandparents to realize that caring for their grandchildren or others is a voluntary task that benefits them healthily and psychologically before they benefit others.
He says d. Amr Salah El-Din – Consultant Psychiatry: The obligation of the elderly to a specific task has a significant impact on prolonging their age. It has already been discussed in this part of what is known as the stage between life and death. He added that at this age, studies have shown that the age of the elderly may be prolonged for a specific period to perform a specific task, such as ending the study of grandchildren or the completion of the birth of their children, which is scientifically known as the postponement of death or “postponement of death.”
Most doctors and researchers agreed that the tender is relative and qualitative and that the elderly person is the only one who can determine his health and psychological ability to tender and not to anyone else. “Giving is a behavior that supports the continuity of the human race, and without it, we will not be able to care for and care for our children,” David Cowell sums up.