There is nothing quite like a brilliant book to transport and entertain you. Whether that is to a world of fantasy or an exotic foreign location, literacy escapism can take your mind off everyday stresses and shift awareness from thoughts that might be clouding your mind. It’s one of life’s simple pleasures, yet it is easy to forget about the benefits that come with reading. That’s why at Home Care Assistance two key pillars of our Balanced Care MethodTM holistic approach to longevity are cognitive stimulation and a sense of calm, both of which can be achieved through reading.
Relaxing with a good book is beneficial for people of all ages, but especially seniors as it can provide mental stimulation, reduce stress, and improve memory and attention span. Research has also shown that reading can slow down the degenerative process of dementia by keeping the mind fit1. Mental activity that is beneficial for the brain should involve new learning and be interesting, reasonably complex, varied and engaged with frequently2.
Whilst often considered a solo activity, reading can be a great source of social engagement. Reading with young children can be particularly rewarding, as it allows you to connect and find common ground. Living vicariously through a child’s reaction to a story can also transport us back to our own childhood and the stories we grew up reading. An added benefit is that sharing the experience of reading with a child can also foster a lifelong love of reading within themselves too.
Avid readers might like to share their views on a particular book with others via the creation of a book club. Reading and socialisation that may involve some tasty drinks and snacks too. Often your local library or council may have book clubs you can join in person or online. At Home Care Assistance our Care Workers can help transport you, if required.
For those who might have a hard time reading small print in a book, or don’t particularly enjoy sitting down to read, there are other options. You may consider listening to an audible book as it may be more convenient and enjoyable. Audiobooks are available to listen to from the comfort of your own home via a smartphone, tablet, or computer. Audiobooks still offer tons of brain benefits from imagining meaningful imagery when listening to a book as it allows more room for the brain’s visual process to kick into gear, to sparking a more emotional response3. For readers who are active, wearing headphones as you go for a walk provides a brain workout as well as a physical exertion one too.
Electronic books such as a Kindle allows you to have one device but many books. From enlarging the text to having a dictionary at your fingertips, this is a great alternative for those who struggle with the small print size in a paperback. Electronic books are also much lighter to hold, and the customisation of your screen means you control the brightness, line spacing, margins and many more.
But for many, there is nothing like the smell of opening a brand-new book or opening one that has been on the shelves for many years that now has a woody aroma. Books can be nostalgic, thought provoking, enjoyable and improve quality of life, especially for seniors. There are millions of books to choose from, so what are you waiting for? Get inspired, create your reading wish-list, read with your grandchildren, and possibly start a book club. You will reap the benefits!
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As a leading age care provider, Home Care Assistance offers tailored in-home care services for older Australians, enabling them to live happier and healthier lives in the comfort of their own homes.
We offer private and government subsidised Care Packages and have office locations that are a registered NDIS provider. Our Care Workers undergo extensive training in order to deliver unmatched in-home aged care services where people can continue ageing in place. We are proud ambassadors of the My Aged Care government funded aged care program, enabling Australians to successfully navigate the process and gain approval for in-home care support packages. Home Care Assistance offers hourly care, specialised care, Alzheimer’s and Dementia care, hospital to home care, and 24 hour in home care.