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12th Nov 2020
7 benefits of reading books while you are ageing

7 benefits of reading books while you are ageing

Books are the real friends that stay with you from childhood to older age. Once you get in the habit of reading, the amount of wisdom and learning you get to tackle life problems are humongous. Benefits of reading are equal to maintaining a healthy diet and doing regular exercise. Reading is an exercise that helps you mentally and takes you to a whole nother world.

You can start reading and get your grandchildren to attain a new hobby. But we all know how reading has increased with time, but winter is a great time to remind ourselves about the benefits reading can do for us. From improving our physical, mental and emotional state to sleeping better and improving our memory.

Ageing can be difficult, with health problems and potential disease, reading always remains easy to do. All you have to do is sit on your favourite chair in the open sunlight of your backyard in a winter afternoon or cosy up in the bed at night and travel with the storyline. Whatever you like to read, whether it’s romance, horror, fiction, science fiction or any other genre, making it a leisure activity is worth investing.

Why does reading matter?

The importance and benefits of reading books are encouraged in children, reading and its benefits for seniors must also get a majority of attention. As we mentioned, reading is linked with numerous positive outcomes in older adults, such as enhanced memory, shart decision making, stress-free attitude, better sleep and even a delayed onset of Alzheimer’s and dementia. Apart from health benefits, reading books is a pleasurable activity that involves no hard work, you can easily do it while sitting in a park or on your sofa at home.

Many seniors decline to participate in reading as it can be tough for them. In fact, one of the Pew Research studies proves that a quarter of adult readers over the age of 50 go through an age-related roadblock while reading a book. But once you know the root cause of what is stopping you from reading, we can easily overcome these obstacles. If you feel uneasy carrying heavy books, then switch to e-reading with a back-lit screen and adjustable font size. These small details are greatly useful for seniors with vision problems and also for those with arthritis and other health conditions.

If you aren’t comfortable or inexperienced about technology and digital devices, then other methods such as light printed books, reading lights, book holders, magnifiers, and auction books can ease the reading process. Benefits of reading books are most effective for the ageing adults suffering from a cognitive impairment which hinders their ability to read. Reading is a one-on-one form of interaction that’s not just enjoyable but also teaches you to awaken your consciousness, prompt you to take a stand and create a deepening connection.

If you enjoyed reading at a young age, rekindle the love again by picking the books that bring back old memories. Like the comic books you read in your time or the storybooks you grandma read to you, read them to your own grandkids to bring back the sweet old days. If you are looking for book recommendations for adults or seniors then check out Goodreads and Amazon. Stop by your local library and ask the librarian for the best book.

Share the love of reading

If you’ve successfully adapted the new hobby of reading then share it with your loved ones. Adults who are an avid reader can benefit from sharing their love of reading among their family members, group, and friends.

By participating in a book club to volunteering as a reader at a local preschool, you’ll be able to gain invaluable impurities as an older and wiser adult to engage and influence the world around you. From teaching them about our beautiful nature to different species of animals to kids, you can help in bringing a better and much more educated generation. Kids are always curious while their parents are mostly busy earning and doing their jobs, but you can fill the gap by answering to their curiosity. In this way, you can bring the ultimate Cool grandpa or grandma.

Apart from being the wisest person in social interaction and friends, you can volunteer for reading to children to get the love from younger skids and build an essential sense of purpose and meaning to their life. If you don’t have a book club for seniors or a preschool reading program in your neighbourhood, then start off your own. That’s what makes the most amazing thing about reading books. It opens new doors for a new experience and different ways of adding value to society. It’s never too late for education or spreading education to others. For adults mostly, reading books isn’t just about health benefits, but it also a way of liberating yourself.>

6 benefits of reading books in seniors

1. Improving memory retention

According to the 294 seniors published a study in Neurology, people who engage in mentally-stimulating activities such as reading, writing, puzzles across their lifespan have a lower rate of memory decline of diseases such as dementia or Alzheimer’s. People who not only spend their time in frequent cognitive activity at a young age but also later in life have a reduced rate of memory decline by 32% compared to others who didn’t.

Reading is a mental exercise that improves your memory which is essential for the short-term recall of everyday events. Seniors in their older age tend to forget things from their everyday events. For most, it can be so dramatic that they’ll forget they drank tea or not in the morning. Just like exercise, regular mental workouts such as reading books or reading the newspaper can strengthen the brain’s neural network and help the mind to become more receptive in learning and memory retention.

2. Sharpening Decision-making skills

Reading can help you get the bigger picture. At an age where you can be confused with the latest technology and changes, but in life and relation, your decisions would be effective and valued. One such benefit of reading is improving the analytical and reasoning power to tackle problems and acquire an ability known as fluid intelligence that mostly declines throughout adulthood. In the major American study of age 25 to 74 found that, regardless of your age, people who indulged in brain-challenging activities such as reading, puzzles, crossword, sudoku did significantly better on a fluid intelligence test than others.

3. A stress-free attitude

From taking medicines to doing daily exercise and going through the difficulties in life, we all need some unwinding time. What could be a better option than losing yourself in a great book while listening to your favourite music with a cup of tea? This answer was reported by the research conduction at the Mindlab International at the University of Sussex. Reading books work as the biggest stress reliever that takes only six minutes for the heart rate and the muscle tension to relax.

4. Delay the onset of Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Engaging with mentally stimulating activities and hobbies, such as reading from the age of 20 to 60 has reduced the rate of developing Alzheimer’s disease, reported by additional research conducted in adults in their 70s. According to the article published by the USA today, Dr Khachaturian, a senior science adviser associated with Alzheimer’s Associate, reported that brain-challenging works at an older age help to build a reserve of neuronal connection. Which makes it difficult for the Alzheimer’s process to destroy enough neurons for the symptoms to start. While the study from the Rush University Aging and Memory Project said that regular engagement in mental activities, such as reading, solving puzzles, games and others helps to preserve the brain structure vital for cognition in late life.

5. Improve your sleeping habit

At an older age, sleeping timely is attained with great trouble. You tend to wake up at late hours and sleep when the morning arrives. It’s very harmful to your health. While reading in bed is considered to help you attain a smooth and steady sleeping habit. According to the Mayo Clinic, creating a bedtime ritual is very essential, especially if it’s reading.

Book reading signals the body that it’s time to sleep. This bedtime ritual involves an improved sleeping habit than falling asleep in front of a television screen or any other electronic device. Digital devices don’t help in sleeping better as harmful blue light rays emitted from their screen reaches our eyes and suppress the release of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. Lack of melatonin completely changes your sleep/wake cycle and prompts you to stay awake late at night, hence preventing you from using digital devices 2 to 3 hours before going to bed. As we age, we tend to read less and watch more TV instead. Given the proven benefits of reading books, we can conclude what’s right for your health.

6. Bringing happiness and increasing empathy

Books trigger emotion and sentiments for yourself and others. While reading different stories and autobiography of other people, you tend to judge and expect less from your loved one. Reading helps to boost empathy and increase your emotional intelligence, which makes the work a better and kinder place to live in.

Even from a fiction book, you learn a lot of valuable lessons that when applied to real-life can do wonders. In a study, it’s proven that adults that read even for minimum 30 minutes a day are 20% more satisfied with their lives than others. Feelings can be of all types, anger, lust, greed and others are harmful while empathy, love and gratitude are required in everyone’s life. The only benefits of reading books are gaining only a good emotion for improving each other’s lives.

7. Keep us all connected

Who doesn’t love living in a community that values each other and shares the same emotion? We all do, right? Reading provides such an opportunity to connect with people of all ages. Share things that you enjoy and suggest others in a way that boost their confidence and happiness, especially if you tend to spend time alone at home. Remaining lonely and deserted from people isn’t healthy, especially at an older age. Making new friends and being a part of someone else’s life reduces many symptoms of Alzheimer’s and fights depression caused by loneliness.

End note

Remain happy and indulge in habits that are rich in happiness, curiosity, and healthy for your mental and physical state. For more, connect with us at eldersfirst@emoha.com or call us at 1800-123-445555, for a happy living of Elders.