By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Most of the studies that are included in medical journals deal with issues related to medical conditions and problems associated with them. But we are beginning to see a growing number of reports that look at lifestyle issues and the impact on overall health or patient safety.

Take a very interesting Johns Hopkins study which looked at grandparents watching grandchildren. The report found this actually reduces the incidence of injury by 50% or more. The reason I like this is many people have a feeling that older people might be less vigilant or unable to provide quality care, but the important issue here is the experience of raising children combined with a genuine interest in the child is a positive factor.

The other reason I like this study is it reinforces the idea that people can have a continued value. One of the biggest problems that leaks into health difficulties in the elderly is a feeling of worthlessness.

This report serves as an example that seniors can make a major contribution.

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