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Benefits of Book Clubs for Seniors

September 15, 2021

One of the first things your loved one will realize when they move into an assisted living community is that there will be a range of events and activities they’ll be able to participate in each day. With so much to choose from, it’s easy for your loved one to find something they’ll enjoy. One of the most popular options offered is the book club.

Even if your loved one isn’t an avid reader, they can still join and experience the many benefits a book club for seniors offers. Here are a few reasons why your loved one should join.  

They’ll Make New Friends

One of the biggest benefits of joining a book club for seniors is that it helps them socialize and meet other seniors in the assisted living community. This is particularly helpful when your loved one is new to the community and may not feel comfortable simply striking up a conversation with others in common areas.

The book club can provide community members with an immediate common ground and the discussions surrounding the books can make conversations easier to join. 

a group of elderly women discussing books that they are holding

Your Loved One Will Gain Deeper Understandings of Literature

A book club isn’t just a way to make new friends. It can also help expand your loved one’s viewpoints.  By engaging in book club discussions, your loved one will see how others view the events and themes in different stories. This helps them process what they read in a different, often deeper way. By listening to others, they’ll better understand their own conclusions about the book and can start to approach other stories with a different, more well-rounded viewpoint in the future.

Book Clubs Help Your Loved One Maintain Communication Skills

Though there are many reasons to join a senior book club, maintaining and improving communication skills is one of the biggest ones. When your loved one participates, they’ll discuss their thoughts with their peers in a low-pressure environment. In doing so, they’ll be able to practice and maintain their ability to communicate and interact with others.

This can help them feel more comfortable talking to caregivers, doctors and associates in their assisted living community and reduces the likelihood they’ll feel isolated or too embarrassed to talk to others when they need help.

Reading Keeps Their Mind Active

Reading may be a fun hobby, but it’s also a great way to keep your loved one’s mind active. The more your loved one uses their mind, whether it’s through reading, games or puzzles, the better their cognitive health will be. And while you can’t reverse or prevent dementia and other cognitive impairments, keeping the mind active can slow the progression.

By signing up and participating in a book club for seniors, your loved one will be motivated and encouraged to think critically about the books they’re reading. When the book club meets, they’ll be able to express those thoughts to their peers, helping to reinforce their communication skills with each meeting in a safe environment.

They’ll Be Exposed to a Wider Variety of Literature

If your loved one is like most readers, they have a preferred genre or favorite author they turn to time and time again. While there’s nothing wrong with reading the same type of book or re-reading an old favorite, it can start to feel stale or dull. But trying to get your loved one to try new genres or authors isn’t always easy when it’s just your recommendation.

By encouraging your loved one to join an elderly book club, they’ll have a reason to explore books and genres that might be outside of their comfort zone. And since they’ll have others to discuss the book with, they’ll feel more inclined to finish the story even if it’s not something they’d pick on their own. This may help your loved one maintain a higher quality of cognitive function and may help slow the progression of degenerative memory conditions like Alzheimer’s and dementia. 

New Stories Can Offer Stress Relief

The transition to an assisted living community can be stressful, even if your loved one knows that the time has come to move out of their independent living situation. Finding ways to help them relax and unwind can be difficult, especially if you’re living out of state and can’t interact with them in person on a regular basis. Diving into a great book can give them a safe escape from the stresses and concerns they experience in their daily life. And because book clubs explore different genres and different authors, they won’t get bored.

Book Clubs Are Flexible

One of the best reasons to join a book club for seniors is they are incredibly flexible. Many programs allow residents to participate in online book clubs for seniors if they’re not comfortable or physically able to participate in person. That means your loved one will be able to get the same experience and social stimulation whether they’re engaging with others through a computer or talking about the books they’ve read in an assisted living community common area.

Book Clubs for Seniors Are a Great Idea

At Elmcroft, we strive to create a community where everyone has access to hobbies and events they enjoy. Whether your loved one has participated in a book club before or they’re joining one for the first time, they’ll feel welcomed and encouraged to participate from day one. If you’re looking for a vibrant community that puts your loved one’s health, safety and well-being first, contact our team to schedule a tour today. 

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