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How Time with Grandchildren Improves Seniors’ Health

Grandchildren and Seniors

It’s no secret your parent enjoys spending time with their grandchildren, but did you know that this relationship might be incredibly beneficial to a senior’s health? In fact, quality time between seniors and grandchildren has been shown to have a number of physical, mental, and neurological benefits!

Here’s how it does just that, plus a few ideas to help them spend their time together:

It Keeps Them Active

Keeping up with kids requires a lot of energy, especially for older individuals. While it’s important not to overdo it, this elevated level of activity is incredibly beneficial for seniors. Exercise helps them prevent falls, reduces their risk of stroke and heart attack, improves bone density, and helps prolong their overall life.

It Boosts Their Mental Health

Caring for and spending time with grandchildren can offer some very positive outcomes for an individual’s mood. Just like physical movement helps boost their mental health, studies have also shown that providing support creates a sense of fulfillment and satisfation, and helps to stave off depression longer. Social isolation is a common cause of depression in the elderly, but it’s hard to feel isolated when you’re surrounded by your grandchildren.

It Lowers Their Risk of Alzheimer’s and Offsets Dementia

Because social interaction can improve mental health, it’s also linked to a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s. Even one day per week spent with grandchildren can offset dementia. Think about it: It’s hard not to stay sharp when a small child is asking you a million and one questions in a day, right?

Ways to Spend Time with a Grandparent

Organizing activities for your parents and their grandchildren doesn’t have to be complicated. These ideas are simple and fun for all parties involved.

  • Have a tea party: Grab the good china and your child’s favorite stuffed animals for an afternoon tea party. Prepare a few kid-friendly snacks, like cookies and tea sandwiches, and brew a pot of delightful pekoe for an event your parent and child will never forget.
  • Take a trip to the local zoo or park: A day spent outdoors with loved ones is a day well spent! Be sure to consider the terrain and your senior’s mobility to ensure that everyone can enjoy the excursion without fear of falling or getting tired. Take in the sights, sounds, and smells in nature to make many memories as a family.
  • Learn how to make your parent’s favorite craft: Many older individuals have perfected one craft or another over the years. It’s a beautiful experience to watch your child learn to cross-stitch, bake, or sew with the loving care and assistance of a grandparent.
  • Play a simple game: If your senior’s mobility is limited, spending an hour playing a card game or puzzle can be just as fulfilling. Depending on the complexity of the game, this can even be played with older individuals whose cognitive abilities have been impacted by dementia.

Now that you have plenty of ideas and tons of motivation, we hope you’ll choose to spend a bit of extra time with your older loved one this week. At Park Street Senior Living, we strive to help create the best senior living communities in America. Want to learn more? Give us a call at (434) 964-3897 or send us an email at info@parkstreetsl.com.

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