Did you know that May is “Get Caught Reading” month?
This was a national initiative created by the Association of American Publishers aimed at encouraging readers of all ages to discover, or rediscover, the joys of reading. There is truly no better time than right now to encourage seniors to read, and/or to share their love of reading with others. This blog will outline the proven benefits of reading for seniors, tips to make reading easier as well as suggest some ways to share in the fun with others!
5 Proven Benefits of Reading for Seniors
Seniors who read often enjoy much more than just a good story. Scientific studies have found many benefits of reading for older adults, from enhancing memory and reducing stress to improving sleep and sharpening decision-making skills. Some research has even show the correlation to a delayed onset of Dementia and Alzheimer ’s disease. These top five benefits demonstrate why good senior reading habits help preserve mental abilities which in turn, enables seniors to live independently longer.
- Enhanced Memory
Reading exercises your memory, which is crucial to the short-term recall of everyday life events. Regular mental workouts through reading can strengthen the brain’s neural network, which encourages your mind be more receptive to learning and retaining memories.
- Delaying Onset of Alzheimer’s and Dementia
It’s been consistently proven that brain-challenging activities help to build neural stimulation inhibiting the emergence of Alzheimer’s or Dementia symptoms.
- Sharpening Decision-Making Skills
The analytical and reasoning power that one needs to solve problems declines over time throughout ones adulthood but is decelerated by continued reading.
- Sleeping Better
Reading in bed is considered to be a guaranteed way to fall asleep and have a more restful overall sleep.
- Reducing Stress
There is a large correlation between stress reduction and getting involved in a desirable activity, like getting lost in a good book.
4 Ways to Overcome Difficulties of Reading with Age
For some, reading can get harder as we age. Luckily there are a few really simple ways to overcome this difficulty and still enjoy a good book!
- Large print books are particularly helpful for those seniors with vision difficulties.
- Book holders can be especially beneficial for seniors with dexterity issues, such as arthritis, where holding the book in one position for a period of time can be troublesome.
- Tablets or E-readers that have back-lit screens and adjustable font sizes can be very useful for seniors with both vision and dexterity difficulties.
- Audio books can prove beneficial for those seniors who love to enjoy a good story but may have trouble with the above 3 suggestions
3 Ways to Share the Fun of Reading
Seniors who read with others create an invaluable opportunity to foster new social interactions, engage with their community and influence the world around them. Here are some ways to get your elderly loved one to read with others.
- Join a book club – this gives seniors the opportunity to forge new relationships and interact with other who have common interests
- Guest reader at a preschool – this gives seniors the opportunity to interact with the youth of their community, boosting their mood and adding a sense of purpose and meaning to their days
- Volunteer at the local library – libraries provide a safe, comfortable, and inviting setting for seniors to share their expertise through reading programs, reading groups and literacy mentoring