Reading is a Super Skill
Reading is a wonderful pastime for all ages, but it has a lot of benefits for seniors. Reading can delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, for example, which is the leading cause of dementia. Furthermore, as mentioned in our post ‘How to Help Elderly Parents With Dementia Care?’, dementia is common among elderly parents. However, by encouraging them to read, you can help stimulate their brain and improve memory. Reading can also improve attention span, reduce stress, and improve sleeping patterns.
Fortunately, books are currently more accessible to seniors through audiobooks. Artificial intelligence technologies like Alexa can read books out loud, making the experience more convenient for elders who have poor eyesight. While it is not reading per se, listening to audiobooks provides similar health benefits. For instance, a study published in the Benefits of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine outlines that seniors who listen to audiobooks remain mentally active. This is because it is seen as a type of bibliotherapy, which is effective in developing an individual’s self-awareness and empathetic understanding.
Audiobooks are also a way for the elderly to cope with loneliness since it mimics the experience of a loved one reading to them. Loneliness is also linked to health risks in older adults, such as heart disease and a weaker immune system, making listening to stories more important.
Whether your loved one prefers to read or listen, below is a list of great self-help books for seniors:
Best Self: Be You, Only Better
This self-help book tells its readers how the key to creating the most fulfilling life for themselves is within them. Written by life coach Mike Bayer, he teaches his readers to manage their lives from the inside out.
‘Best Self’ is a great book for seniors because it teaches them that they can still achieve their dream life and best self — even at their age. It instructs the reader about how to dig deep within themselves to acknowledge what holds them back. In turn, he informs them how they can break through these to live to the fullest and how to improve your memory as a senior.
From Age-Ing to Sage-Ing: A Revolutionary Approach to Growing Older
This book by Zalman Schachter-Shalomi is both inspiring and informative. It’s a guide that inspires its readers to create an aging process for themselves that is filled with adventure, fulfillment, and excitement.
‘From Age-Ing to Sage-Ing’ is perfect for elderly parents because it teaches them how to transform their aging process into one that will focus on their passions rather than anxieties. The author gives elders helpful tips on how to embrace their power to provide value and wisdom to the people around them.
Habits of a Happy Brain: Retrain Your Brain to Boost Your Serotonin, Dopamine, Oxytocin, & Endorphin Levels
Written by Loretta Graziano Breuning, this book is a practical guide about habits that trigger happy thoughts. ‘Habits of a Happy Brain’ is filled with simple activities that boost the “happy chemicals” in the brain such as serotonin and endorphins. When active, these hormones can help boost mood.
This book can benefit senior loved ones by allowing them to engage in habits that will lighten their moods. The suggested activities are simple enough for elders to participate in, too. These include simple stretching and finding what makes them laugh. ‘Habits of a Happy Brain’ shows its readers how to live a happier and healthier life, including how to improve their memory— even in their senior years!
The Gift of Years: Growing Older Gracefully
Joan Chittister wrote this book to inform readers about the blessings of aging. The book also celebrates the clear-eyed reality of the aging process by demonstrating how the later years in life are not a burden, but a gift.
‘The Gift of Years’ is perfect for elderly Christian parents and relatives that have fears of getting older. The book tells its reader how to let go of fantasies regarding eternal youth and the anxieties of aging. It shows the elderly how these late years have the gift of becoming fully alive more than ever.
Nearing Ninety: And Other Comedies of Late Life
This book by Judith Viorst is a compilation of poems narrating the joys and sorrows as seniors wait to turn 90. ‘Nearing Ninety’ is stocked with humor that reminds the reader that almost nothing in life should be taken too seriously.
Nearing Ninety can help seniors realize how there are many things to cherish. These include hanging out with loved ones and playing nonstop rounds of Scrabble. Overall, it’s an enjoyable way to remind almost-90-year-olds that there is a lot to appreciate and experience despite their age.
Aging is a natural process in life and these 5 authors have much to say on the highs and lows of aging. The aging journey can come with its own challenges like financial disrupts, dementia, and other health issues. Reading a book off the list will give you some tips on how to improve your memory or handle a myriad of health issues. Hopefully, our lives can be helped and comforted through these times by reading one of these 5 great self-help books. Or catching one on tape!
By, Emma Meyer