Elderly people who support others are live longer, according to a recent scientific study. The results of the study published on November 2016, “The Journal of Evolution and Human Behavior”, indicate that older people who care for their grandchildren or other people reflect positively on their health and even age.
The study, involving researchers from German and Australian universities, was based on data collected in Berlin, Germany, from 1990 to 2009. The study included a sample of more than 500 people between the ages of 70 and 103 years.
Contrary to all the studies on this subject, the researchers excluded from their studies grandparents who are constantly caring for the grandchildren. On the other hand, they made comparisons between grandparents who take care of grandchildren from time to time and those who do not care for grandchildren, and older people who do not have children or grandchildren but who take care of others in their social environment.
The results of the study showed that half the sample of grandparents who observe grandchildren or help their children in domestic chores from time to time survived for 10 years after the interview in 1990. Half of the grandparents who did not provide any kind of care to others died within 5 Years of 1990 interview. In contrast, half of the older sample had no children but cared for others who lived for seven years after meeting them in 1990, while those who did not care for one had survived for only four years.
“Older people may not have children or grandchildren, but caring for their neighbors or friends will have a positive effect and keep them alive for longer” says David Kohl, co-researcher at Edith Cowan University for the journal Science. He adds that if the elderly can do anything as enjoyable as sports or meeting friends, that may also help to prolong their life. Kohl says they are expanding the study to investigate health differences among older people who care for others and their peers who do not.
Previous studies have shown that oxytocin secretion increases in the blood of people who take care of others. Oxytocin is the hormone responsible for reducing stress and is also known as the hormone of love. According to the National Institutes of Health, oxytocin reduces stress levels, lowers blood pressure, maintains good mood and increases pain tolerance. In addition to the hormone of love, helping others also increases the secretion of the hormone happiness or Endorphins, which contributes to strengthening the immune system and protects the elderly from diseases.
Tender without excessive
Doctors put a lot of caveats on the activity of older people who care for their grandchildren or others. Excessive physical exertion may seriously harm the elderly. The physical burdens of both grandchildren and others can affect the elderly person with extreme stress. Psychologically, an intellectual, cultural and technological clash between him and the generation of grandchildren may also be psychologically damaging to him because of his intellectual inability to accept the changes of the times. Dr. Khater advises grandparents to realize that caring for their grandchildren or others is a voluntary task that benefits them healthily and psychologically before they benefit others.
He says d. Amr Salah El-Din – Consultant Psychiatry: The obligation of the elderly to a specific task has a significant impact on prolonging their age. It has already been discussed in this part of what is known as the stage between life and death. He added that at this age, studies have shown that the age of the elderly may be prolonged for a specific period to perform a specific task, such as ending the study of grandchildren or the completion of the birth of their children, which is scientifically known as the postponement of death or “postponement of death.”
Most doctors and researchers agreed that the tender is relative and qualitative and that the elderly person is the only one who can determine his health and psychological ability to tender and not to anyone else. “Giving is a behavior that supports the continuity of the human race, and without it, we will not be able to care for and care for our children,” David Cowell sums up.