Living and caring
From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.
There’s science to support the idea that it is better to give. A researcher at the University of Michigan found it in the lifespans of older people who took care of a disabled spouse.
Stephanie Brown reviewed data on close to 1,700 couples ages 70 and older, in the Health and Retirement Study supported by the National Institutes of Health.
Brown says spouses who spent at least 14 hours a week in caregiving were more likely to be alive at the end of the seven-year study period.
She thinks there’s an evolutionary advantage to giving care:
[Stephanie Brown speaks] ``These findings provide further evidence in favor of the idea that our social relationships really might be more about what we give to one another as opposed to what we receive from one another.’’
The study was in the journal Psychological Science.
Learn more at hhs.gov.
HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.
Last revised: May 7, 2011