A loving relationship with a grandparent or a grandchild can provide lots: warm memories, familial care and lower risk of depressive symptoms.
Researchers surveyed more than 700 people and found that those who felt emotionally close to their grandparent or grandchild noted fewer symptoms of depression, such as low appetite and sadness.
Vital to this outcome for grandparents is their sense of feeling needed, said researcher Sara Moorman, PhD, of Boston College, who presented her findings at the 108th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association in August. In fact, those grandparents who had help from their grandchildren but who were not able to return that assistance had the greatest increase in depressive symptoms.
"There's a saying, 'It's better to give than to receive.' Our results support that folk wisdom. If a grandparent gets help, but can't give it, he or she feels badly,” Moorman told CBS News. “Grandparents expect to be able to help their grandchildren, even when their grandchildren are grown, and it's frustrating and depressing for them to instead be dependent on their grandchildren.”
Another study, sponsored by the National Parkinson Foundation, last year reported 61 percent of Parkinson’s patients surveyed reported experiencing depression. Additionally, people with both Parkinson’s and depression tend to have more movement problems and greater levels of anxiety than those who have either the former or the latter.
This Grandparents’ Day, hug your loved on a little tighter and think about how you can help each other. A minor gesture now may mean a happier tomorrow.
Register for Fox Trial Finder to find Parkinson’s research studies that you may be eligible for as a patient or healthy volunteer.
Consider sending a Grandparents’ Day eCard and making a gift today to The Michael J. Fox Foundation.