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Grandparents are happier, healthier when living with grandchildren: study

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Published : 2016-11-28 17:25
Updated : 2016-11-28 17:34

Grandparents who live with their grandchildren and help raise them are generally more satisfied with life and healthier than their peers, a study found Monday.

According to the research led by professor of economics Ahn Tae-hyun at Sogang University, those who lived twith their grandchildren for the past year showed improvements in overall health conditions.

Compared to their peers, this group also showed a higher level of satisfaction in their quality of life and relationships with children, made fewer visits to hospitals and scored higher in cognitive ability tests.

They also believed they had better psychological and physical health, the study found.
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The research team noted that raising grandchildren for too long could lead to a deterioration in the physical health of the grandparents, as the number of hospital visits they made went up in tandem with the cohabitation time. However, their life satisfaction and cognitive ability levels stayed high.

Those who were not living in the same house as their grandchildren but were helping to raise them on a regular basis did not show the same improvements in psychological or physical health, the team said.

“One reason could be that this group of grandparents have limited opportunities to create bonds with their grandchildren compared to the ones who live with them,” the researchers said in the study.

When grandparents are too old or have a low level of cognitive ability to deal with everyday tasks, they did not show any improvement in health even if they lived with their grandchildren, they added.

The study was based on a survey of some 8,500 South Koreans aged over 45 from 2008-2014.

By Kim Da-sol (ddd@heraldcorp.com)