The Value of Reading to Seniors



Most of us have fond memories of the stories we read during our childhood. It was comforting to curl up with a good book and share the simple joy of story time with a loved one. Reading with others is an activity we can continue into adulthood. This often takes the form of book clubs or reading to our own kids. There is tremendous value in reading to seniors, too!


Reading a beloved book is a simple and easy activity for in-home caregiving that returns big rewards. Reading is beneficial for cognitive health, memory care, and overall well-being.


In-Home Caregiving and the Benefits of Reading


The activity of reading within the context of in-home care services is beneficial to both caregivers and the people in their care.


Benefits for Caregivers:


  • Research shows that regular reading improves brain connectivity

  • Reading increases vocabulary comprehension

  • Reading a variety of stories can increase empathy and awareness

  • Studies show physical health benefits such as lower blood pressure

  • Studies show mental health benefits such as reducing depression

  • Reading aids in preventing cognitive decline

  • Sharing stories is a fun way to reduce stress

  • Reading is a good way to learn something new

  • Reading to others establishes connection


Benefits for Seniors:


  • Helps expand vocabulary

  • Provides a safe and gentle way to learn

  • Improves memory function and memory recall

  • Builds empathy and awareness

  • Strengthens cognitive health


The brain scans from several studies showed that hearing stories strengthens the area of the brain that is associated with visual imagery, word meaning, and comprehension.


It’s Not Just About the Words


Books with images and pictures provide additional benefits for seniors, too. Even looking through a photo album can help improve memory function and increase positive emotions such as nostalgia and joy.


Benefits include:


  • Improved visual thinking

  • Developing observational skills

  • Improved focus


Picture books are not just for kids! There are many types of books, including ones targeted to adults, that include imagery.


At the end of the day, it’s a nice experience to select a good book and share in the joys of reading. This is one of the many benefits of having an in-home caregiver. Quality in-home care services allow for personalized care plans and treatment tailored to each individual. People receiving care benefit from everything ranging from general hygiene care to enjoying their favorite book. With quality in-home care services, it’s these little details that truly count.


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