Caregiving within and beyond the family is associated with lower mortality for the caregiver: A prospective study
Older people who help and support others live longer. These are the findings of a study published in the journal “Evolution and Human Behavior”, conducted by researchers from the University of Basel, Edith Cowan University, the University of Western Australia, the Humboldt University of Berlin, and the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin.
Older people who help and support others are also doing themselves a favor. An international research team has found that grandparents who care for their grandchildren on average live longer than grandparents who do not. The researchers conducted survival analyses of over 500 people aged between 70 and 103 years, drawing on data from the Berlin Aging Study collected between 1990 and 2009.
In contrast to most previous studies on the topic, the researchers deliberately did not include grandparents who were primary or custodial caregivers. Instead, they compared grandparents who provided occasional childcare with grandparents who did not, as well as with older adults who did not have children or grandchildren but who provided care for others in their social network.