The act of reading is one that can provide us with calm, joy, or a little opportunity to escape from the realities of our everyday lives.
Reading can be an enriching hobby at any age, and a great many seniors love the simple act of reading. With so many options of things to read in the forms of books, magazines, newspapers, web-content, poetry, or any other collection of words, there is enough reading material out there in the world to meet any interest, and the options are ever-growing. Beyond just being an enjoyable hobby, reading also involves a whole host of different mental exercises that are hugely beneficial for the aging brain in important ways.
Reasons to Read
Reading can be a contributor in supporting seniors’ ability to continue living a happy, fulfilling, and healthy lives as they continue to grow older. As seniors continue reading, they create opportunities that can allow them to build upon and grow new areas and depth of knowledge while also promoting wellness, caring for their mental health, improving their critical thinking skills, and working to keep memory loss at bay, all through the simple and enjoyable task of reading. The following are some reasons that reading is especially beneficial for seniors and their wellbeing:
- Reducing Stress: The feelings of distraction and escape that the right book can provide can help seniors to take a step back from their problems for a little while and can help to reduce stress and the negative effects that it can have upon their mental and physical health.
- Providing Mental Stimulation: Taking part in activities that are engaging and stimulating to the brain is vital for maintaining brain fitness and keeping the mind strong. Reading acts as a type of exercise for the brain that helps to keep it stimulated and healthy.
- Increasing Understanding: Reading can help seniors to feel a greater sense of connectedness to other people’s stories, their surroundings, and the events that take place within the world. Through reading, seniors can build a better understanding of things that they may not have dealt with or experienced within their own lives. This can help them to better relate to people from different backgrounds, as well as to the greater socio-cultural context.
- Improving Memory: A lot of memory comes into play when reading, as seniors must keep track and remember ever-evolving plots, characters, settings, and past events of a story. It is in this way that the act of reading can play a role in supporting stronger memory for seniors, because each time a memory is made, new pathways are created in the brain while old ones are also strengthened.
- Growing Knowledge: Reading offers the opportunity for seniors to learn and explore new areas of knowledge that can help to ignite new interests or build upon existing ones. Knowledge explored through reading can be valuable in daily life, helping seniors to better understand new things, offering new topics of conversation for social situations, and creating the sense of satisfaction that comes along with learning something new.
- Expanding Vocabulary: Having the ability to speak articulately and express oneself in an effective way can be empowering for seniors. Reading new material can expose seniors to new words and uses of language that they can use in their everyday lives in ways that benefit their ability to communicate effectively and with a sense of pride.
- Critical Thinking Skills: The fact that reading often necessitates the piecing together various bits and pieces of information to create an understanding of the overall picture of the story or article means that there is a significant amount of critical thinking involved. The use of these critical thinking skills through reading strengthens them so that seniors can better solve problems and connect pieces of information in their daily lives.
Reading can be an enriching and enjoyable activity for people from any background, at any age. Whether we want to lose ourselves in works of fiction, learn new information about current or historical events, scour through magazine articles, or any other type of reading, the activity itself can be both fun and beneficial for our bodies and minds. While seniors might have to begin navigating new challenges that get in the way of their ability to read as they grow older and may begin to experience changes in vision, there are options such as large-print books or adjustable electronic reading devices that are accessible by seniors in Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge that can help them to continue reading despite the changes they are dealing with. Seniors should try to making reading a part of their daily lives so that they can reap all of the wonderful benefits that it has to offer for their overall state of health, happiness, and wellbeing.