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Caregiving a Baby–an Anthropologist’s & Grandparent’s Perspective

In September of 2016, I ecstatically added to the burgeoning class of baby-boomers becoming grandparents. There are 70 million Americans a year joining the ranks. Caregiving my granddaughter during the workweek is a bit of heaven, and much comfort to her parents. It’s also longevity enhancing for me: the Berlin Aging Study found that grandparents who provided non-custodial childcare died at a rate 37% lower than for grandparents who did not provide childcare, and even non-grandparents benefited if they did caregiving .

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The Power of Music

Music is a profound pleasure, even for babies–why?  As neurologist, Oliver Sacks, explained:  “music occupies more areas of our brain than language does—humans are a musical species”!  Indeed, researchers at MIT recently discovered a distinct region for music, apart from language, in the auditory processing area. Beyond the sharing of similar sound signatures that would integrate language and music processes, music perception resides alone.

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