It seems that having children extends your life expectancy! So while you may be driven to distraction by your kids and feel that your days are numbered, a study has found that mothers may well live for up to an average of 23.1 years longer after the age of 60, while fathers could see an extra 18.4 years tacked on to their lives.
In simple terms, this equates to an extra 1.5 years of life. The study, published in the New Scientist and also reported in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, took some 1.4 million people in Sweden as guinea pigs for the research.
While an extra 1.5 years may not feel like terribly long, it could be the difference between seeing your future great-grandchildren, visiting places you never thought you would have time to visit, and watching your family grow.
While these findings cannot be explained by science it would seem that as children tend to look after their older parents, this extra support, both emotional and social can be the push that the elderly need to follow a healthy lifestyle later in life, can ensure quality health care and prevent potential abuse at the hands of caretakers. This is also the mirror image of how younger parents take care of their small children – what goes around comes around!
One important fact noted in the study is that “it was just as beneficial [for parents] to have a boy as it was to have a girl” indicating that care for the elderly is not gendered specific.