Taking care of your grandchildren can keep you from feeling lonely, scientists say… but taking care of a spouse can’t
- Scientists at King’s College London analyzed the findings of 28 studies
- Childcare Linked to Lower Levels of Loneliness in Older People
- Volunteer work was also found to reduce feelings of isolation in most cases.
- But the opposite effect was found among those who have to care for a partner.
It is said that grandchildren keep you young.
Now scientists say they also keep you from feeling lonely.
People who care for their grandchildren are much less likely to experience loneliness than those who care for their spouse, according to a major review.
Scientists at King’s College London analyzed the results of 28 studies carried out around the world on the relationship between caregiving, volunteering activities and loneliness in people over 50 years of age.
People who take care of their grandchildren are much less likely to experience loneliness than those who take care of their spouse, according to a major review
They found that in six out of seven cases, childcare, whether related or not, was linked to lower levels of loneliness in older people.
Volunteer work, such as helping at a charity shop or church, was also found to reduce feelings of isolation in most cases.
But those who have to care for a partner or spouse were consistently associated with greater loneliness, often due to a health condition such as dementia.
Lead author Samia Akhter-Khan, from King’s College London, said: “Our findings suggest that providing care for a partner with complex health conditions, particularly dementia or Alzheimer’s, is linked to higher levels of loneliness, while caring for kids or volunteering can help. reduce loneliness in older adults.
“There is a pressing need to identify people who may be most vulnerable to feeling lonely and to develop specific solutions to prevent and reduce loneliness in these population groups.”
Loneliness has been linked to a number of health problems, including an increased risk of stroke, high blood pressure, dementia, and depression.
The End Loneliness Campaign said there are 1.2 million chronically lonely older people in the UK and 9 million lonely people, with such a large effect on health that it is comparable to smoking and obesity.
The researchers hope the findings, published in the journal Aging and Mental Health, will lead to further research examining the barriers, opportunities and compliance to engaging in meaningful activities.
Dr Matthew Prina, head of the social epidemiology research group at King’s College London, said: “This could help shed light on the optimal ‘dose’ of volunteering and caring for grandchildren and identify ways to maximize its potential effects. beneficial to combat loneliness in the world”. over 50
“Respecting older adults for their contributions and valuing their unpaid activities will likely play an important role in mitigating loneliness.”
Loneliness can be a GOOD thing for older people, according to research
A little solitude can be a good thing for older people, surprising research shows.
Experts from the University of Zurich got 118 men and women over the age of 65 to use an app to record all social interactions for three weeks.
The results, published in the British Journal of Psychology, showed that the more time spent in solitude, the more time the volunteers spent socializing at the next opportunity.
The study found that older people need a quiet moment to recharge their batteries after mingling with others.
“Solitude is an integral part of daily life for older adults, as it supports energy recovery,” the researchers said.