Le Diner en Blanc New York

Le Diner en Blanc New York
Lincoln Center 2012

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Healthy Grannies

Yes, many of us are on the job -- and weathering the storm! A new study of 13,000 grandparents between the ages of 50 and 80 found that 29 percent of the grandmothers and 22 percent of grandfathers provided at least 50 hours of care per year for grandkids who don't live with them. And they're faring well. Apparently grandchildren agree with us. This study debunked earlier findings that had showed that the health of grandmothers who cared for their grandchildren was a casualty of the arrangement.

Only a small percentage of grandparents (fewer than 3 percent) give primary care, that is, they're taking care of children whose parents are not in the home. And for these grands, health often has declined when they were just starting to take care of grandkids. This could be because usually when grandparents take over the parenting role, it's unexpected and often for a stressful reason. So the adjustment takes a toll -- but even these arrangements don't bring lasting negative results for health. Once grandmothers continue skipped-generation care, they get healthier again. So overall, the news is good.

And for the majority of us, whose care for our grandkids consists of babysitting -- aside from those viruses that the kids bring home starting in preschool, we stay healthy. Must be all those smiles from the little guys and even the bigger ones!

The study, by Waite, LaPierre, and Luo, appeared in the Journal of Gerontology: Social Science.

4 comments:

Connie said...

hip hip hurray....

those smiles fix everything!

Edna said...

Hi, Sally, just thought I'd bring up what seems to be happening a lot more now days and that is grandparents who are raising their grandchildren. We have four living with us. Their parents have completed rehabs and are now living with us also and we all have hopes that some day they can take care of their kids on their own. So for some of us it is a 24/7 deal ... not what we expected at this time of our lives but what do you do?

Edna said...

Doh ... my comments don't make any sense. I had only read a small part of your blog before I wrote it. Oh well, chalk it up to my age.

Kim's Mom said...

Hi Sally!
Just popping in to wish you a very happy Mother's Day!

Neat entry today. I've come to the conclusion that children help keep us young. Nothing like viewing life through the eyes of a child. And yes, the smiles are a major bonus :)