Reading is great pastime for seniors to partake in. Not only does it help prevent dementia, but it also serves to increase cognitive function. Reading is such a useful activity for the elderly because of its mental benefits, but it is also economical and easily available for all to enjoy. There are numerous sources for attaining new books to read. Libraries and bookstores are the obvious book providers, but there are now many online options for accessing books (type ‘online books’ into a search engine for examples). If you find reading to be too stressful on your eyes, a good substitute is an audio book. With audio books you can listen to a story read by a professional, while still gaining the benefit of using your imagination and keeping your brain active.
We have established that reading is a great way to keep the mind active, but it can also be used create a social activity in the form of a book club. There are several different ways you can approach starting a book club. Here are a few suggestions.
With Friends and/or Family
You can start a book club by inviting friends and family to join. Select a book, allow a set amount of time to read it, and then meet to discuss the book.
It is not always possible to meet in person, with the people you would like to bring together for a book club. As an alternative to meeting in person, you can meet online to assign and discuss books. One website that is useful for setting up this kind of thing is My-Bookclub.com. There are also many already existing book clubs online that anyone can join. These can be found by simply searching ‘online book clubs’ in a search engine.
Another option is to check out your local library. Libraries frequently have book clubs that cater specifically to seniors. Contact your local library for more information.
Some bookstores also have book club events that are organized for seniors.
Book Club Benefits
Seniors can get many benefits from joining a book club:
- Connectivity – Connecting with like minded people that have similar interests
- Conversation – Discussing books is a great way to spark interesting and meaningful exchanges
- Brain function – Reading stimulates the brain
- Sleep – Reading before bed can help provide a more restful sleep
- Accomplishment – Joining a book club can provide a sense of achievement
- Sharing – It can be a great way to share experiences and stories
Whether you are a brand new reader or a seasoned veteran, reading can be a satisfying pastime for seniors. If reading is a new activity for you, try starting out simple and building from there. You don’t need to go diving right into joining a book club. Read at your own pace and see how you like it first, if you find it to be a gratifying activity you can look at introducing the social aspect joining a book club provides.
If you have any questions or need some help getting started, please do not hesitate to contact our office.