German / Australian research indicates that grandparents who undertake babysitting roles tend to have a 37% lower risk of mortality than adults of the same age without such caring / babysitter responsibilities.
NHS Choices’ Behind the Headlines, as usual, provides a sense of perspective:
Grandparents who babysit ‘tend to live longer’. London: NHS Choices; Behind the Headlines, January 3rd 2017.
“ …spending time with grandchildren and helping friends and family members arguably gives people a sense of purpose, and helps keep them physically and mentally active”.
This relates to:
Full Text Link (Note: This article requires a suitable Athens password, a journal subscription or payment for access).
Hilbrand, S. Coall, DA. [and] Gerstorf, D. [et al] (2016). Caregiving within and beyond the family is associated with lower mortality for the caregiver: a prospective study. Evolution and Human Behavior. December 2016. [Epub ahead of print].
Possibly also of interest, the following article explores boredom, considered as the potentially deleterious absence of meaningful activity and occupation:
Full Text Link (Note: Access to the .pdf may require free registration).
Bantwal, P. (2016). Existence of boredom among the elderly: the need to further explore the concept. Journal of Geriatric Care and Research. December 2016, 3(2): 49-50.