May 11, 2018 by Nancy Hmieleski, RN, BSN Director of Nursing
The physical limitations that people develop due to age doesn’t have to diminish their enjoyment of one of the most popular hobbies—reading. Reading provides many benefits for seniors and during May, many organizations are eager for everyone to discover the joy of a good book. May is Get Caught Reading Month, a public awareness campaign designed to rediscover all the great things about reading. Many celebrities have joined up with the Get Caught Reading, but you don’t have to be famous to benefit from this extraordinary awareness campaign.
There are many positives that people of all ages get from regular reading, but seniors are particularly fortunate when it comes to the many benefits that reading brings. Studies show that reading can reduce stress, enhance memory, encourage restful sleep, expand knowledge and even delay diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Besides, reading provides an escape that is both entertaining and impactful.
Family caregivers can lead the way in getting their aging relatives to read more and reap the mental, social and emotional benefits. Because many seniors are dependent on family caregivers and home care providers, they may need some encouragement when it comes to picking up a book again. If the elderly adult doesn’t have much reading material around the house, there are many sources of new reading material besides the book store, including thrift stores, yard sales and libraries. Borrowing from friends and family members is another way to get access to new reading material.
Elderly adults may need some incentive to get into reading, especially if they encounter challenges that hinder them. For example, many seniors can’t drive anymore, making it hard to get to the library. A family member or home care provider can drive them so they can get new books every few weeks. Sometimes, poor vision makes it hard or elderly adults to red. The solution for that is to check out or purchase books with large print or invest in an e-reader where the page size can be enlarged. Audiobooks are popular with elderly adults as well.
Reading can provide plenty of social opportunities for elderly adults as well. Many elderly adults enjoy attending book club meetings, while others like to go to the library for socials to meet local and regional authors. Seniors can read to grandchildren, other seniors and even volunteer at schools and libraries to be readers. Above all, a good book can make elderly readers feel connected to the community when they share what they learned.
There’s no doubt that reading can provide many social and emotional benefits. There’s no better time to boost your aging loved one’s reading materials than during Get Caught Reading Month. From finding the right books to reaping the benefits of reading, Get Caught Reading Month can turn a tired and bored elderly adult into an informed and happy one.
If you or an elderly loved one are considering caregivers in Readington Township, NJ, or the surrounding areas, call the caring professionals at Comfort Keepers of Flemington, NJ. Call today (908) 806-2220.