The Women’s Healthy Aging Project in Australia completed a study of 183 women ages 57 to 68, 120 of which were grandmothers. They were testing to see if spending more or less time with your grand-kids each week would affect your mental sharpness. It is important that when you start aging to do things that will help lower your risk for cognitive disorders including dementia.
We know that when you are older it is important to be social with those around you to help stay active and avoid developing dementia. For this study, they learned that women who are watching their grand-kids five days a week showed negative symptoms when it came to mental sharpness. “We know that older women who are socially engaged have better cognitive function and a lower risk of developing dementia later, but too much of a good thing just might be bad,” said NAMS Executive Director Margery Gass, MD.
The study that was conducted required the participants to take three different tests, then include if they felt as if their children were demanding of them within the last year or not. The women who would watch their grandchildren for one day a week scored the best on two out of the three tests given. The women who watched their grandchildren at least five times a week scored significantly worse on one of the tests. The test that they would score worse on was the test where they would measure working memory and mental process speed. So based off of this study, watching your grandchildren for one day a week can help maintain a sharp mind.
Below are some fun ideas for activities that you could do with your grandchildren.
– Go to a local farmers market and make a pie with fresh fruit.
– Take a trip to the local zoo.
– Play a card game or board games.
– Bring out your nice dishes and have a tea party.
– Start a journal where you write letters back and forth to each other.
– Read books together.
– Teach your grandchild one of your favorite hobbies.
– Take a walk outside and enjoy your time together.
– Create art pieces by painting, coloring or drawing.
– Go outside for a walk to get some fresh air.
– Go treat yourselves to some ice cream or candy.
They found that the closer the relationship between the two, the less likely either were to develop depression and that grandparents who both gave and received support had the fewest symptoms of depression. When aging, it is important to maintain good relationships for those who are closest with you. By spending time with your grandchildren, you are not only building those relationships with loved ones but also can help increase your mental sharpness.
Even when it is physically tough to move, there are still options of ways to continue to build those relationships with your grandchildren. If you take some time to enjoy your time with a couple of your grandchildren then you can really get to know them and create that lasting bond. It is important for both your grand children and you as a grand parent to share those memories together.
It can be a win-win for grandparents because not only are they making memories that will last forever but they are also preventing Alzheimer’s disease. It is important to maintain good relationships with not only your grand children but also your whole family. By being able to spend time together will help seniors to not be socially isolated and be able to enjoy themselves and avoid depression. If you are interested in further information on Alzheimer’s disease, visit our page below.