Advantages of Reading Often in the Senior Years

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Reading has many benefits for everyone, and your senior loved one should enjoy a good book on a regular basis. While some activities may need to be given up as a person ages, reading can be modified to fit any senior’s abilities. Now that your loved one is getting older, keep these advantages of reading in mind to inspire him or her to open up a book each day.

Provides a Distraction from Worries

A good book keeps the reader enthralled, and enjoying a well-written page-turner may take your loved one’s mind off his or her problems. Seniors sometimes turn to activities such as watching television to escape from their stress, but many programs have upsetting content. With books, your loved one can control what he or she reads and enjoy having something to take his or her mind off serious concerns for a few minutes each day. 

For seniors with health limitations such as severe arthritis or diminished eyesight that make it difficult to read printed books, listening to audiobooks can be enjoyable. Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in care. Green Valley, Arizona, Home Care Assistance are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.

Helps with Retaining Language Abilities

The process of reading or listening to a story engages many parts of the brain. In fact, seniors can even learn new vocabulary words at an advanced age. Choose books that are challenging and enjoyable for your loved one to read. Then you can look up words or remind your loved one of their meanings. Practicing vocabulary can help your loved one keep the language abilities needed to communicate with the people he or she sees each day.

Strengthens Memory

Reading daily can also help your loved one retain memory abilities. Try asking your loved one to recall what he or she read the day before. You can use prompts as needed, but try to let your loved one do it independently. If your loved one has serious memory loss, just ask questions to see what he or she remembers. Repetition also helps with memory skills, so feel free to encourage your loved one to reread a passage or chapter to increase comprehension. 

A professional caregiver with training and expertise in methods of cognitive stimulation can also help your loved one strengthen his or her memory skills. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of in-home care. You can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide an individualized care plan to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits, such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.

Increases Decision-Making Skills

Seniors sometimes begin to lose the ability to make rational decisions as they age, or they may face difficulty with problem solving. If you’re reading together, look for problems that arise in the plot. Then take a short break to ask your loved one what he or she might do in the situation. You can then read how the characters handle it and continue your discussion. If your loved one really enjoys this type of dialogue, look for choose-your-own-adventure books for adults that allow readers to guide the direction of the plot.

Enhances Sleep

Electronic devices have a negative impact on sleep, which means your loved one’s cell phone and television should be turned off at least an hour before bedtime. This leaves time to fill before your loved one goes to sleep. Reading together is a soothing ritual that brings back the memories of comfort many people experienced during childhood. Try adding a book to the nightly routine, and watch as your loved one drifts happily off to sleep.

Mentally engaging activities such as reading help seniors boost their mental and emotional wellbeing. Living alone at home in the golden years can present a few unique challenges. Trust Green Valley at-home care professionals to help your senior loved one maintain a higher quality of life while he or she manages an illness and performs the daily tasks of living. If you need professional home care for your loved one, Home Care Assistance is just a phone call away. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at 520-625-2050.