As the pandemic continues to force various senior living, post-acute care, assisted living, and memory care communities into quarantine, there’s no better time to discover the magic of reading! There are a variety of benefits that reading adds for everyone, including senior citizens. Reading offers a variety of positive impacts on the mind and the spirit of seniors. Reading helps transport them to another place and truly engages their imagination and creative sides. Here are a few of the proven benefits picking up a book more often has on the aging population. As a reminder, all photos posted here were taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Keeps Them Mentally Sharp
You’re all aware of the old adage that “You’re losing it!” However, seniors who read more frequently are more likely to be skilled at problem solving and reasoning. In fact, according to Seniors Lifestyle Magazine, “When you read you are also improving your analytical and reasoning power. This is helpful for seniors that need help with problem solving.” So, when seniors read regularly, they are more likely to remain sharp as an axe well into their golden years.
Prevents Alzheimer’s and Dementia
One of the biggest concerns, especially when it comes to memory care patients, is the progression or onset of Alzheimer’s and Dementia. However, reading regularly has been proven through a variety of studies to have a positive impact on prevention and management of these crippling diseases. Reader’s Digest notes that, “A love of reading can protect your brain from Alzheimer’s disease, slash stress levels, encourage positive thinking, and fortify friendships.” Reading has health benefits that go beyond the emotional level as made evident by these studies.
Stress is never a good thing to have. The consequences it can have on the health of anyone, especially senior citizens, can be devastating. Reading and implementing book clubs at senior living communities is a great way to help combat that by reducing stress levels of the seniors. Huffington Post found that, “According to a 2009 study conducted by the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom, reading can reduce stress levels by as much as 68 percent, even more than listening to music or going for a walk.” So, next time you are feeling a bit stressed out or agitated, pick up a book and see where it takes you.
Helps Them Remain Focused
As individuals get older, it becomes increasingly difficult to remain focused on certain tasks. Some of that is just the natural aging process; however, you would be amazed at the differences that reading can do to help prevent that from escalating out of control. BeingPatient discussed that, “In general, books… can help readers retain focus longer, according to a 2016 study conducted at Essex Meadows Health Center in Essex Meadows Health Center, Essex, Connecticut, (EMHC).” When it comes to keeping independent senior living a possibility, reading can be a great help in keeping you focused and alert.
At Poet’s Walk, a Spring Hills Memory Care Community, we offer a variety of reading activities from book clubs to Read Across America and more. To learn more about the different reading programs we offer, click here to contact your local community.