Caring for Others Prolongs Life

Caregivers Live Longer




Nestor Rizhniak/Shutterstock.com

Researchers from several international universities have found that seniors that provide caregiving services live longer than those that do not. The scientists analyzed survival data and information collected from the Berlin Aging Study on 500 adults over the age of 69 from 1990 to 2009. They compared survival rates from the subjects that provided caregiving for children, grandchildren and friends to those that did not.

Of the subjects analyzed, the half that took care of their grandchildren or children were still alive 10 years after their first interview in 1990. Caring for non-family members also produced positive results, with half of the subjects living for seven years after the initial interview. Conversely, 50 percent of those that did not participate in any caregiving had died just four years after their first interview.

The researchers warn that caregiving must be done in moderation. Ralph Hertwig, director of the Center for Adaptive Rationality and the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, in Berlin, explains, “A moderate level of caregiving involvement seems to have positive effects on health, but previous studies have shown that more intense involvement causes stress, which has a negative effect on physical and mental health.”


This article appears in the September 2017 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Content

Erling Kagge on Our Deep Need For Silence

The explorer and author speaks on how silence is golden and can be achieved anytime, anywhere by going within.

Imperfectly Perfect Pets

Like humans, pets can face physical and mental challenges, but fresh approaches are giving our beloved animals fuller, happier days.

A Kinder Heart

To transcend society’s hectic pace and intrusive demands, we can relax deeply into our heart center and experience the all-embracing love that is always there.

Take Magnesium to Metabolize Vitamin D

Without adequate amounts of magnesium in the body, vitamin D supplements can’t be metabolized; high amounts may even increase the risk of vascular calcification.

Turmeric Helps Heal Skin Ailments

A recent meta-study concluded that turmeric has proved effective in treating acne, mouth inflammation, itchy skin and psoriasis, among other conditions.

Add your comment: