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Grandparents are a very special bond that only stay in our lives for a short time. The moment we come to this world, our grandparents are already past their peak. It falls to us to spend as much time as possible with them—at their age, without a doubt the one thing they enjoy the most is spoiling their grandkids!
A recent study by researchers from the University of California, San Francisco showed that loneliness amongst the elderly plays a major role in the decline in lifespan associated with old age.
1600 adults participated in the study with an average age of 71. They were asked about their mental health, relationships, mobility, loneliness, etc. 23% of the single and lonely participants died within 6 years. 14% non-lonely adults passed away with companionship.
“The need we’ve had our entire lives—people who know us, value us, who bring us joy—that never goes away,” Barbara Moscowitz, a senior geriatric social worker at Massachusetts General Hospital, explained to The New York Times.
According to Rosemary Blieszner, a professor of human development at Virginia Tech, told The New York Times, “The elderly place great value in those relationships, so much so that they often overlook a great deal more than their children or even their grandchildren do. It comes down to important relational skills, she added, “skills that our grandparents have had a lifetime to hone.”
“They’re pretty tolerant of friends’ imperfections and idiosyncrasies, more than young adults,” she said. “You bring a lot more experience to your friendships when you’re older. You know what’s worth fighting about and not worth fighting about.”
Elderly relationships go beyond inviting our grandparents into our homes. Despite popular belief, seniors excel in independent or assisted living. It provides them with more ways to mingle connect and thrive!
Nevertheless, it’s also true that spending time with your grandparents is mutually beneficial. The symbiotic relationship is undeniable. They are rejuvenated with our youthful companionship and conversations about life—and we get to learn from their years of wisdom and experience, hear cool retro stories, get comfort from their hugs and access to all those super secret recipes!
The bottom line here is, If you want your elderly parents or grandparents to live longer, spend quality times with them as you get a chance. When you are not around, make sure they are all safe and fine at home. Especially, your elderly parents with a mobility issue should never be confined to the bedroom all the time. You can get stairlifts at home to ensure they themselves can move around the house.
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