Grandparents can provide a sense of stability, wisdom, and fun to their grandchildren’s lives. And in return, being a grandparent provides so many benefits as well. Helping to care for grandchildren can help to stave off depression, boost social connections, and increase mental sharpness. The health benefits of being a grandparent don’t just happen when the grandparent is the sole caregiver to the child. Simply spending time and being involved in the child’s life can prove beneficial too.

U.S. News discusses how important this family relationship is for aging adults. In fact, a grandparent who just watches grandchildren on a weekly basis can boost brain function. Processing speed, cognition, and working memory abilities also improved. Whether you take them to extracurricular activities, babysit after school, or partake in fun activities with them, studies have shown that ultimately, lifespan can even increase.

But there is also good news for non-grandparents. Childless older adults who give emotional support to others in their lives live several year longer than those who don’t reach out, on average. Therefore, it’s likely the act of supporting, caring, and nurturing another person that really matters.

Even if you don’t live nearby to your grandchildren, give them a call weekly. By staying involved in their lives, they will feel cared for and it will reaffirm your sense of purpose. Family relationships, no matter what kind, can be important to our well-being. Most grandparents who are involved in their grandchildren’s lives state they wouldn’t trade it for the world.