Grandparents Who Babysit Less Likely to Develop Alzheimer’s


Editor’s Note: The previous video was deactivated by the source. Here is a new video describing the same research.

A new study out of Australia suggests that grandparents who look after their grandkids at least once a week could be less likely to develop Alzheimer’s.

I think this is information we all need to pass along to our parents! No?  Babysitting our kids is good for their physical and mental health. So next time you need to go and get highlights, grab a coffee, or go shopping. Remember the health of your parents and ship them your kids.

In all seriousness, this is pretty amazing research, keeping the mind and body active are all great for our health.

Stay healthy and Shine On!






  1. Lydia says

    This is true… When ever I’m with my grandchildren I am much more active then when I’m alone and I’m definitely happier … And more constructive and organized.
    At the end of the day I may have more bruises, less hair, and feel little crazier but it’s all good… Thanks to my oldest granddaughter I took care of her the most while she was growing up and I definitely felt productive and very alive physically and mentally during that time since I have taken care of other grandchildren and I enjoy them as well! That k god for grandchildren … And for our own who got us on the road to good health to begin with.

    • says

      Hi Lydia,
      Haha. A little crazier and a little more bruised for sure. My mom also says that grandkids keep you young.
      While you are grateful for your grandchildren, I guarantee you your children and your grandchildren are extremely grateful for you!! Thanks so much for sharing. Sarah

      • Lydia says

        Thank you ❤️tomorrow is the first day if my newest granddaughters day care. It’s a secure place because it’s tied into the studio but now I will see her less because it’s further and except for weekends or special occasions we won’t see her as much… I can visit her there so if I’m ever in area I am
        Allowed to visit her according to their rules which I’m very excited about I could set a day to do that routinely so that will be nice if I can do.
        Thank you for the kind words … My next youngest is 5 and she will start school
        Soon so this summer I need to get in as many days with her as well… She lives closer and grandson will be just a few blocks away at school. I’m very proud of my daughters they are amazing moms and always looking for the best interest of the kids so I’m glad they are doing well and I will enjoy any time I can get with them and my daughters …

        • says

          I think many of us learn how to be moms from our own mothers so you must have done a really great job :). Its tough when things change and you don’t get to see family as much but its so nice that you want to make the time to see them. That must mean a lot to your daughters and your grandchildren. Have fun with all of them this summer, and hope the first day of daycare is great! :) Sarah

    • Debra Carrieri-Scocchera says

      In addition to raising her own four children, my mother has been the babysitter/childcare for each of her 10 grandchildren over the past 26 years. The grandchildren range in age from 5 through 26. Each one of us had to go back to work right after having our children. I don’t know what we would have done without her. Our children are blessed to have their Nonnie so close to them, we, as the Parents were blessed to know that our children were safe and secure, and Mom, other than being really tired, really earned her retirement, but loves the heck out of each of her Grandchildren. She truly is our Angel!!!

      • says

        What an amazing mother you have Debra! Sounds like she definitely earned her retirement :) I bet she has such a special relationship with each of her grandchildren after spending so much quality time with each of them. What a lovely story, thank you for sharing. Sarah

        • says

          I helped with all 4 of my grandchildren from the time they were born. What a joy! They are now 18 boy in college, 14 boy goes to high school next yr. and two precious twin girls 12. The three younger ones spend a lot of time with grandma and I think I enjoy it more than they do. So much help with their grandpa who has early alzehemers . Kept all three of them while their mother went back to school to be a nurse. So proud of her and the children.

  2. Joyce says

    I keep my grandbabies (2 boys) while my daughter and her husband work. They are so precious to me and some days they are good and some days I can’t wait to get away from them! They tell me they love me and don’t want me to go home. When I am not with them the oldest one(3 1/2) tells me he misses me. I am so thankful every day for my boys!!!!

    • says

      Aw, that’s so sweet Joyce. They will have such fabulous memories of their childhood getting to spend their days with you! And yes, I’m sure some days are just crazy, but that’s the best part of being a grandparent isn’t it? You get to leave ;) Thanks so much for sharing. Sarah

  3. Kate says

    I LOVE that research. Makes total sense when you think about it. My father has always wondered why day cares aren’t in the same buildings as old age homes.
    Thanks for sharing Sarah

  4. V.B says

    I only wish it was true. My mam always looked after my boys every week, she was very active never in always out doing something, never Smoked or drank , never took any medication and My Mam has had Alzheimer’s for seven years now :( . But its right does keep you on your toes and children do make you happy too.

    • Tammy says

      I wish it was true toy! Me & my twin sister was at our grandma & grandpas ALL the time!!! We LOVED going there they were ALWAYS doing stuff with us! When we were around 17 our grandma was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. It BROKE my heart to see her have to go through that!!!

      • says

        It is heart breaking to watch a loved one go through something so terrible, I saw it with my grandmother as well. Hopefully researchers figure it out in our lifetime. Thank you for sharing, Tammy. Sarah

  5. Kay says

    My mum and dad look after my twins while I work at night they have done for 12 years now it would break their heart if they didn’t look after them they would do anything fir them but this year my dad as early signs of dementia :( so I’m not sure I agree but they light up their life’s and make them happy hope I’m as good when I’m a grandparent c

    • says

      Hi Kay, how wonderful that they were able to look after your kids for so long and develop such a close relationship to them. I’m sorry to hear about your dad, that has to be difficult for all of you. I hope I’m as good a grandparent as your parents are. All the best to you and your family, Sarah

  6. Cordell Wilson says

    What a load of rubbish, my son and daughter who are now 18 and 23 were always at my mum and dad’s in fact my son practically lived there. My dad has alzheimer’s and vascular dementia. So please show me the scientific evidence to back this up.

    • says

      Hi Cordell, I’m so sorry to hear about your dad. I’m not an expert in Alzheimer’s or dementia but I believe what the researcher was trying to demonstrate was that any activity you can do to increase brain function, including looking after young children a few times a week, can help your cognitive function and perhaps help to ward off Alzheimer’s. I would imagine there are a number of factors that contribute to the disease and this is only a small piece of the puzzle.

      It is very difficult to watch a loved one lose their cognitive function, I watched my grandmother go through it and she was an extremely active and socially engaged woman. I suppose the silver lining is that researchers are out there trying to help solve the mystery behind Alzheimer’s and dementia and hopefully one day that mystery will be solved.


  7. says


  8. connie says

    My huband and I both are retired so when our son started a new restaurant business, we began to keep our then 2 year old granddaughter. She is now four years old and we keep her every weekend from thursday until sunday–the restaurant is only open on the weekend and his wife helps run it. We feel young again. We bought a house at the beach and she goes with us on the weekends we go there. We have taken her to every kid event in panama city. We took her ice-skating last weekend and we skated with her. Keep in mind we are in our seventies so you can imagine the looks we get. But she loves it and we do too. I think there may be something to this resesrch.

    • says

      Connie! Aren’t you and your husband amazing! I bet those looks you are getting on your ice-skates with your granddaughter are pure admiration. Everyone is looking at you hoping they will be just like you. Thanks for being inspiring. All the best, Sarah

  9. Carol Lewis says

    What is the relationship with the Grandparents that babysit very frequently with child as they enter young adulthood. Do the children appreciate them.

    • irene madrid says

      Good question and one I posed for myself. What is after the grand period is ‘over?’ At 68 I ski, swim every other day, do Pilates, do ropes courses with my grand daughter but there comes a time? My parents have 20 greats and they all visit .

    • Cheryl says

      Most of them do. Some children are just hateful as they get older and into bad crowds but it’s not usually the fault of the parent or grandparent. Our society is difficult today. I have taken care of 4 of my 13 grandchildren for years. Papa and I raised them for several years just as if we were the parents. They appreciate every minute. Our oldest is 14 and the youngest is now 5. We have helped the 11 year old go from being impossible at school to getting good grades and having friends. So to answers your question YES they do appreciate us.

    • says

      That’s a good question Carol. Thanks Irene and Cheryl for your comments based on your experience. I don’t know the answer but I would guess it completely depends on the family.

      I can see how spending too much time with your grandparents could lead children to take them for granted, but I think that happens with any of us.

      Thanks for sharing your ideas.

    • says

      I’m sorry to hear about your grandmother momma bear. It is not fun to watch someone go through such a terrible disease. My best to you and your family, Sarah

  10. Cookie Clark says

    I watch my youngest grandchild three days a week. He is 3 1/2 years old. I retired right after he was born and was more than happy to keep the baby while my daughter and her husband were working. He is my buddy, we do a lot of fun things together He enjoys the museum,zoo,library and going to the movies. We do school
    work for one hour each day that I have him and he is so eager to learn. Every afternoon before his parents pick him up we read books. I would not trade my time with this child for anything. Yes it does keep you young and healthy.

    • says

      I love that Cookie! It sounds like you have a wonderful relationship with your grandchild. With many families having both parents working, having a special relationship with a grandparent is a treasure. Sarah

  11. scheibe says

    Without much info on the research, I wonder if the babysitting grandparents were less likely to get dementia, or if the parents and grandparents who had dementia were astute enough to recognize that the grandparents couldn’t / shouldn’t be babysitting. Just because there’s correlation, doesn’t prove causation. Having said that, if it’s true that watching the kids occasionally reduces the risks of dementia, I certainly feel that makes sense.

  12. Nikki Munro says

    When I got married, I told my husband that we could live within a 20 minute radius of my mom. My kids love her and I am so happy she is in our life. She always sees the best in them even at their worst. She has a full time job, and still takes time to be with her four grandchildren. We love our Gigi.

  13. Char Bentson says

    Just wanted to say we are Great grandparents who have helped care for our grand kids and our new greats. We have a 20 month old, a 21/2yr old and our first two, born six days apart. They are cousins.boy and a girl,age 4. Papa is 81 and I am 79. We get pretty tired some days but unless we are ill we never turn down a chance to have them and it usually at least one day a week. The first two were born less than a month after I spent three weeks in a research hospital. I was on long term care with many drugs.l still have my disease and tire easily but I feel these kids have kept me going and have been my best meds! When they were younger we usually had them more often than now due to their preschool and distance.

  14. Perry says


    I am 62 and still working full time. Every other Saturday night my daughter and son in law both have to work the night shift, (they work for our Sheriff department). I get to go to their house and spend the night with Parker, my 16 month old grandson. We play in the yard, go for wagon rides (him riding me pulling) and generally have a good time together. Then we have supper together and I put him to bed. He is absolutely the light of my life and I look forward to our time together. I’m glad to hear that this may help prevent “Old Timers” disease cause I can’t imagine life without our time together.


  15. Georgianna Guidroz says

    The joy and happiness my grand children have given me by taking care of them, outweighs any disease I might die of.

  16. Pat Ingram says

    We are so blessed to be trusted to care for our soon to be 12 grandies! God has truly been good to us. We have 1 precious little boy in Heaven that we had18 wonderful months with. We rarely have them all at once, but when we do, it is such fun! May God bless all we grandparents who strive to be the best grandparents we can be for as long as He sees fit.

  17. Lisa says

    We watch 2 of our 5 grandkids every single Friday overnight, so that their parents can get some alone time in. As long as our daughter is nursing, they keep the baby with them, but once he’s weaned, we’ll have all 3 of them here every Friday night. We love it! Our other two grandkids are several states away from us and we don’t get to see them nearly enough, but have a blast when they’re all here (usually after Christmas). They keep us on our toes and each of them has gifts we enjoy watching unfold. They all love us too, so it’s a win-win situation!

    My mother and her mother before her both had Alzheimer’s. Each year that goes by without any signs, I am eternally grateful for. I wrinkled up early, though, like my Grandma on my Dad’s side, who was sharp as a tack right up to when she passed at age 96. I always say I’ll take those wrinkles if it means I won’t have the Alzheimer’s!

    Years ago, I read an article about a group of nuns who lived at an abbey and not one of them exhibited any signs of Alzheimer’s. They kept busy with various things right up to their passing – usually something related to art or music. The article said there were autopsies performed and some of the nuns showed signs of Alzheimer’s in their brains, but surmised that their brain synapses jumped over those ‘dead’ spots. Who knows? I feel it’s a chance worth taking. It sure beats sitting in the dark, waiting for it to take over your brain.

  18. irene madrid says

    SIX grands live next door and the other two are close by. Sometimes the insanity is sooo crazy, I burst out laughing. The other night I had the 2 and 4 yr old boys and thought for sure I was in an ” I Love lucy ” episode! By another couple of yrs I will have recieved my second PhD in Life,lol!

  19. Teri says

    Right now I live with my daughter and son-in-law…this will be year 2 that I have been here. I babysit my 3 grandchildren while the parents work during the day. Thie oldest is in 1st grade 6 yrs old, next is in preschool 4 yrs old, and the youngest is 3. I have my hands full at times…my sister comes an gets me for some weekends and vacations. This info is nice to hear…when I go away for a week the grandkids bomb barred me when I come thru the door and tell me they miss me…love them and the rest of my grandchildren…I have 7 grandchildren

  20. v. schafer says

    I live with my daughter, her son, (1 of my grandsons), and his father and I’m nanny while they work. I’m 62 and have retired from 40+ yrs of nursing. I was a single mother so being home with my grandson is absolutely awesome!!! It is so much fun!! He’s just so amazing I should be be paying them ( but not going to tell them that!). I hope this does keep me from developing any type of dementia. Doesn’t matter I’m having the time of my life!!! :D

  21. Kathleen Sego says

    The issues with dementia or specifically alzheimers is that it is a progressive disease that destroys pathways in the brain. Think of pac-man. But if you can keep making new pathways, which you can for a long time, allows the person to be able to function longer. My husband was diagnosed with early on-set vascular dementia several years ago. He is on medication for longer than the companies said they would work. However, I’m always prodding him to play music or have grandchildren or even his sons or daughter over to interact with new activities. Most people don’t even know that he has much of a problem. He will be 80 this Fri. Having your grandchildren around you makes you have to think outside the box helping forestall the problem. Nothing, yet, is a cure. But the longer you can push it back, the better the life quality is.

  22. says

    As a granddad of five youngsters, I am so pleased and blessed to learn that the most precious gifts I have received in the latter part of my life have come with endless questions, winsome laughs, and smelly diapers.

  23. says

    As of granddad to five young ones, I am more than pleased to say that the most precious gifts I have received in the latter decades of my life have come with winsome laughs, endless questions, and smelly diapers.

  24. Fern says

    I watch my three granddaughters several times a week. I love watching them. They are the lights of my life. We have a lot of fun together. I am definitely more active when they’re here. They are such a joy! I just wish I got to see my other three grandchildren.

  25. Amy Brass says

    What about great grandparents? I’m 89, and with my single daughter, we pick up one of my great grandaughters once a week.after school. We’re also “on call” on days when my grandaughter has an appointment at school or at a doctor’s, or anything that may come up during the week. Of course, as with so many young couples today, both parents work. We have such a good time with the 7 year old girl, Her sister, 5, and their little brother, 2 years old. Had to sharpen up on Monopoly, tic tac toe, card games, war and fish, and invented games. I cook and bring dinner one night a week,
    Don’t know which is more fulfilling, having taken care of their mother and little brother when their parents went on vacation.or these precious children. I’m just glad I’m here. I’m so lucky. Life is good!

    • Joanne says

      You are truly blessed! I take care of my grandchildren while my daughters work and my wish is that I stay healthy enough to be there for my great grandchildren!

  26. Gloria says

    I have 10 Grandchildren, with the first 5 being 17 up to 26. I babysit with the 26 year old a lot when he was real little. Now, I watch the 5 younger ones. My Granddaughter that is going to be 10, is a Military baby, with Mom and Dad in the National Guard. I sat with her at least one weekend a month (drill weekend) and 2 weeks in June (during summer training)ever since she has been 3 weeks old. Dad is retired from Military, but Mom still has 3 years. Dad travels for his job 2 weeks out of the month, so if it’s drill weekend, I have her. In June they are moving to Orlando, Florida because of her Dad’s job. I will miss her and will have to visit her regularly, as I have never missed her Grandparents Day at school, or any school programs that she has been in, nor any Thanksgivings. Also, I sit every other Saturday while my son works, with my other 4 Grandkids (ages 9, twins 5, and 3 year old) while Mom sleeps as she works weekend nights at a hospital. Besides all that, I work at Head Start Preschool Mon-Thurs. driving the school bus, and in the classroom.
    I am 71 years old, and enjoy every minute of it.
    My Mother is 92 with Alzheimer’s in an assisted living place. She took care of her Grandchildren for awhile on the weekends now and then, and her and my Dad loved having them a month in the Summer.

  27. Debb Jeffries says

    Perhaps I the case of those who developed the disease, it would have presented itself earlier. I think it is not an absolute prevention, but perhaps a little bit of time bitten off from the inevitable process. I hate Alzheimers! It robbed my mother in law of her retirement, her relationships, her friends, her children, and finally of herself. No one has survived it yet but it is a multi-multi-million dollar business not unlike cancer so I don’t think things will change unless the seemingly and blindingly accepting sheep of victims families take a stance.

  28. Mary says

    My husband and I are both 81. I took care of both my grandchildren 5 days a week, and now they each have 2 children that we are great nana and great papa to. We have them 1 or 2 days e week, not all together. Oldest is 6, then 3, then 2 1/2, then 8 mo. They are the joy of our life. My husband is on oxygen 24/7, so he cannot do much to help. I do have to say that I am really tired when they go home, but would really miss them if they did not visit.

  29. Victor G says

    We just got back home from out of state babysitting our 4 year old and 14 month old grandkids for three days while mom and dad were away. We may not get Alzheimer’s, but we just may have a nervous breakdown! The 14 month old just discovered that she can walk/run and is taking full advantage of being able to avoid us. The four year old is a non-stop energy machine who never tires and is in constant motion.
    But we love ‘em anyway!!

  30. Susan Masters says

    I have five kids, ages 18 to 39, with two still living at home, the youngest being a senior in high school. I became a grandmother when my youngest was only 5 and have babysat for her several times a week since her birth. Now with two more grandchildren with whom I also have babysitting duties, I am hoping Alzheimer’s does not even have a chance with me!

  31. ellen says

    Nice try on the headline lol
    Grandchildren are not an obligation.
    Come visit,get treats , hugs & kisses ,go home lol

  32. Kate says

    I am about to become a grandmother, in less than three weeks, and l could not be more thrilled, and grateful for my daughter that she will be so blessed. I will feel honored for any time that l may spend with my grandaughter, as l view this as one of life’s greatest blessings. …Not so in the case of my husband’s mother, who informed him that l was “taking advantage of her” if l asked her for help while at the time l worked two jobs. I made other arrangements immediately, was struck by the fact that her two grandaughters were a burden to her . ( l asked her twice a month for a few hours, had other sitters, and thought she enjoyed them.) She watched television instead and is in the final stages of Alzheimers. I am her babysitter. I will see to it that she is never burdened by her great grandaughter.

  33. Liddy says

    My mom is amazing! I thank god everyday that she’s in my life. My twin sister and I are adopted and I feel like we were meant to be her daughters.

    She has watched our children nearly everyday of the school year for the past ten years. My ten year old daughter from birth until she started Kindergaten at age 5. My nine year old nephew they same way. Finally my five year old daughter from birth until just two days ago. My sister and are are both teachers (actually in the same school. And my mother lives very close the the school) so my mom would meet us in the school parking lot in the morning,pick up our children ( now just the youngest), and then meet us there again at the end of the school day. I live an hour from mom and work so that was such a help.

    I know my mom loves her grandchildren like they were her own. After ten years of being with the kids. It has come to an end. The youngest finished preschool two days ago and there are no more kids for my mom to watch. I’m really worried about her now. I’m worried that she is going to be so lonely with out the kids and something to occupy her time. My dad passed away three years ago so it’s now just my mom by herself. I’ve asked her to come in at least once a week and help in my classroom ( she was a teacher for 38 years), but I don’t know if she will. I also have a selfish reason for worrying about her. I’m used to seeing my mom everyday and now I won’t have that. I’m going to miss her so much. I’m so worried she’s going to start to have health issues with out the kids. Mostly I’ll just miss seeing her everyday. Visiting will be limited to weekends because I live an jour away.

    It’s going to be a big adjustment for everyone and I worry most about my mom. I’m so lucky and thankful that she was able to watch my daughters and nephew. I hate to see that end because I know she loved it too.

  34. says

    Where we live there is an retirement center with a preschool. Everyone but the teacher is a resident. Also, a nearby daycare center has a one on one ratio in their baby room because so many elderly people love to come in and rock the babies.

  35. says

    I hate Alzheimers! It robbed my mother in law of her retirement, her relationships, her friends, her children, and finally of herself.


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