Friends and family members who are looking for ways to keep a senior loved one involved in an activity may find reading offers benefits beyond just passing time. Bridgewater home care experts have compiled a list of ways reading helps prevent certain age-related conditions.
1. Boosts Memory
Reading is an activity that gives your loved one’s brain a lot to work with and many things to remember, including characters, plot, and scenery. Each time your loved one reads, he or she is creating a new memory. Every memory forges new brain pathways and strengthens existing ones, which helps stave off dementia and Alzheimer’s.
2. Challenges the Brain
The more your loved one reads, the more he or she learns. Reading unfamiliar stories and learning new facts could be just the uncharted territory your loved one needs to stimulate his or her brain health. By learning new things through reading, your loved one is sustaining the concentration necessary to boost neurological blood flow, which could prevent memory loss and cognitive decline.
3. Reduces Stress Levels
Reading a book can help reduce the stress from your loved one’s day and transport his or her mind to another place and time. Reading is a great distraction from situations that may be causing your loved one to produce more stress hormones. Chronic stress can lead to accelerated aging and speed up age-related illnesses such as arthritis, heart disease, dementia, and osteoporosis. By reading, your loved one can reduce his or her stress levels and stave off age-related conditions.
4. Enhances Analytical Skills
To solve mysteries and figure out the plot of the story he or she is reading, your senior loved one must think carefully. The pieces of the story are given, but his or her brain must put those pieces together one by one to arrive at a solution. Analytical skills sharpened while reading can carry over into everyday living and prevent your senior loved one from making bad choices. Reading can help your loved one’s mind and decision-making skills remain sharp, leading to better choices in eating, exercising, and safety.
5. Stimulates the Mind
Reading can help stave off dementia, Alzheimer’s, and memory loss. When your loved one reads, he or she is keeping his or her mind in a state of action, which prevents the brain from dwindling or losing its capacity. By reading, your loved one is exercising his or her brain and keeping it mentally stimulated.
Encourage your loved one to pick up a book and reap the many cognitive benefits of reading. Reading is particularly useful for seniors who cannot leave the home very often. If your loved one has limited mobility and needs assistance with tasks around the house, such as light housekeeping, grooming, and meal prep, Home Care Assistance can provide trained staff that is compassionate and experienced. Our live-in and respite caregivers in Bridgewater can assist your loved one and promote his or her physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Call 908.450.9400 today to speak with one of our Care Managers, learn more about our services, and schedule a no-obligation consultation.