Mental Health News
A team of researchers at King’s College London explored how volunteered caring for grandchildren lowers the risk of loneliness in the elderly. The study is published in the journal Aging & Mental Health.
The researchers surveyed data from 28 studies on elderly loneliness. The studies contained information about 191,652 participants, over 50 years of age, from 21 countries. The relationship between specific types of unpaid activities (such as caring for a spouse, looking after grandchildren, etc.) and loneliness was examined.
The results revealed that caregiving and volunteering can combat the risk factors for loneliness. Such unpaid activities can fight off loneliness by meeting social expectations in old age.
The authors added: “[The study] examined the barriers, opportunities, and fulfillment [associated with] engaging in meaningful activities. This could help shed light on the optimal ‘dose’ of volunteering and caring for grandchildren and identify ways to maximize their potential beneficial effects on combating loneliness in the over 50s. Respecting older adults for their contributions and valuing their unpaid activities will likely play an important role in mitigating loneliness.”
To Know More You May Refer To
Akhter-Khan, S. C., Hofmann, V., Warncke, M., Tamimi, N., Mayston, R., & Prina, M. A. (2022). Caregiving, volunteering, and loneliness in middle-aged and older adults: a systematic review. Aging & Mental Health, 1–13. https://doi.org/10.1080/13607863.2022.2144130