We have great news for grandparents who fill the gaps in summertime care while kiddos are out of school!
A 2014 study showed that grandmothers who care for their grandchildren one day per week have a better chance of preventing age-related cognitive decline and retaining healthy memory.
As part of the study, researchers had 186 (post-menopausal) grandmothers take three different tests:
- One to measure cognitive performance in the areas of working memory.
- One to measure processing speed.
- One that measured executive functioning, or the ability to problem solve and plan ahead.
The researchers found that grandmothers who cared for their grandchildren just one day per week performed better on the tests that measured working memory and processing speed.
Conversely, those who cared for grandchildren five days per week or more did significantly worse on a test that measured attention, working memory, and processing speed.
Social engagement supports good cognitive function and lowers the risk for dementia, yet it seems that too much of a good thing may be worse than no engagement at all.
While spending limited time with grandchildren, it is advised to engage youngsters in activities that involve physical exercise, and if possible, new learning as well. Outings to the park, bike rides, walking to the to the local library or visiting a museum for the day are perfect examples of brain-supportive activities.
Physical movement gets the blood pumping, thereby increasing circulation to the brain, and new learning encourages the growth of new brain cells and synapse connections—a win/win scenario for all!
Power2Practice’s seamless integration with Fitbit makes tracking physical activity a breeze! All your patients have to do is activate Fitbit sharing within the patient portal, and of course, wear their tracker while spending time the grandkids this summer! Click here to learn more…