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What Advantages do Seniors Get from Reading?

By Melissa Hill, 8:00 am on

For those looking for an easy way to assist their parents or other senior loved ones under their care, reading is a great activity. Reading offers numerous mental and emotional advantages, especially for those who are home bound or who have mobility issues. In fact, we’ve found that the right book can offer aging adults a sense of connection and a source of entertainment and information, all while helping to preserve cognitive function. Here are a few more reasons why Home Care Assistance of Oklahoma encourages aging adults to read:

Connecting with Others through Books

Seniors may be isolated for some aspects of social life. Books can offer a way to connect with fictional characters and their situations. Even more so, through book discussion groups held online or in-person, seniors can also form real connections with other readers, including those in their age group. Social networks can be extremely valuable not just for seniors, but also for dementia patients. Interacting with others helps preserve and restore short-term memory and book groups are an excellent framework for building these connections.

Life-long Learning and Enjoyment

Whether learning a new skill or diving into the latest best-seller, reading can be an enjoyable way to spend time, especially on low energy days or when recuperating from an extended illness. How-to books are a great way to learn computer skills or to take up a new hobby like knitting, sketching, scrap-booking, or writing. Unlike classes, reading to learn a skill can be done at home and in an unscheduled way. Reading for pleasure also helps to reduce stress levels and pass the time while also helping seniors keep in touch with popular culture, important events, and trends in literature and writing, all of which make for great conversation starters later on.

Reading as Mental Exercise

Perhaps the biggest benefit that reading offers seniors is mental stimulation. This can help slow memory decline, improve sleep quality, and maintain cognitive skills, like problem-solving. Some research indicates that reading can delay the onset of Alzheimer’s and slow the course of memory loss related to the disease. All of these mental benefits really add up, especially for seniors already experiencing symptoms of age-related decline or those who are in high-risk groups for developing Alzheimer’s. If your aging parent or loved one is living with Alzheimer’s, click here for more information about how to best provide in-home care.

With growing access to large-print books and audio materials, even seniors with decreased vision can enjoy a classic novel or the latest best-seller. Encourage your loved one to enjoy a good book from time to time and watch as they reap the many benefits!

To learn more about senior activities or for help with the care of an aging parent or loved one, reach out to Home Care Assistance of Oklahoma today. While we specialize in live-in home care in Oklahoma, we also provide flexible hourly and respite care for caregivers who may feel overwhelmed by their responsibilities. Learn more about our care services by calling 405-285-4191 and request a complimentary in-home consultation with one of our friendly and knowledgeable Care Managers.