Benefits of Reading for the Elderly

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How many times have you sat down to read a book? During that time you are transported to another realm where your imagination takes flight or learning begins. Books, and magazine prove an endless source of knowledge and entertainment for the reader.

Reading a book provides a therapeutic value for individuals involved in the activity. Reading stimulates the cognitive function of the mind such as the imagination, reasoning, creativity and provides the opportunity for one to focus his/her attention on the story. Also, there are physical benefits such as physical relaxation and decreased blood pressure.

The wonderful thing about reading is that you can do it alone or in group. Many people join book clubs because they want to discuss the novel and socialize with their peers. Individuals enjoy this leisure pursuit in an independent activity because it provides an opportunity for cognitive stimulation.

For those who suffer from dementia, severe cognitive impairment or mental illness reading is modified for their enjoyment. Reading provides sensory stimulation for those who suffer from severe cognitive impairment when the facilitator reads the material to the individual where he/she passively listens. The individual who are diagnosed with dementia will enjoy a reading program because it will help them focus. The facilitator has the clients sit in a circle where the facilitator reads to them. The clients/residents quiet down while they listen to the reader then focus on the reader. They are engaged in the reading program. Those with mental illness when engaged in reading it has been discovered that it reduces the symptoms of mental illness.

Reading is such an integral part of society that braille books have been created for individuals who are blind. Talking books and cassettes players are provided by the Talking Books and Braille Center/Service when clients request it. The information can easily be found on the internet when an engine search is complete. There is an application that need to be completed where it asks what types of reading material that the client/resident would like to read. The application also asks other questions related to the person’s personal preference. Each state has its own Talking Books and Braille Center/Service where one can order can the material.

A program has been designed for children who find it difficult to read in front of people. Libraries throughout the United States use therapy dogs to help children learn to read out loud. Therapy dogs provide a noon judgmental and accepting environment for the child to read aloud. It increases the individual’s confidence and self-esteem.

Reading is an integral part of society where one can escape to find a peace of mind. Individuals who have special needs, cognitive impairment, and dementia; reading is adapted to their ability. Someone can read to them. This simple at provides a therapeutic benefit for the individual involved in the activity.

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