Could caring for a loved one add years to your life?

On the quest for a longer, healthier life, people often spend years trying to crack the perfect diet and exercise regime and tap into the latest medical innovations. However, a study published in the journal Evolution and Human Behaviour has shown that one of the secrets to a longer life could be as simple as caring for others.

The study found that those who occasionally watched and cared for others were more likely to live longer than those who didn’t. The study followed 500 people aged between 70 and 103 for 20 years and noticed that those who helped others in their social circle were more likely to be alive seven years after the initial interview. The people who didn’t provide care only lived an average of four years later.

The researchers believed that the sense of satisfaction, happiness and pride that comes with caring for someone else can help act as a barrier to feelings of tension or stress.

Beyond the health benefits, caring for someone else recovering from a hip or knee replacement can also provide the following benefits:

  • Build a stronger relationship with your loved one - the act of caring for a loved one can create a deeper and stronger bond between you both.
  • Personal growth and development - caring for someone else will help you develop your own ability to empathise and connect with people. It also forces you to learn a range of new skills quickly, such as providing medical care or financial budgeting, and teaches important virtues, such as patience and understanding.
  • A sense of value - providing care for someone else without asking for anything in return is one of the most powerful experiences and provides a positive sense of self-worth and value.

Caring for a loved one can offer intangible benefits that will last a lifetime.

As one of the top Orthopaedic Surgeons in Newcastle and the Hunter, Dr Stuart MacKenzie has developed a collection of free guides on knee and hip replacement surgery to help make your caregiving role easier.

1 Mar 2018

Published by Default Admin

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