Elderly book lovers live longer

Elderly book lovers live longer

Yes, it’s true! A study by Yale University has revealed that “book readers experienced a 20 percent reduction in risk of mortality over the 12 years of follow-up compared to non-book readers.”

August 9th marks National Book Lovers Day – a special day for bibliophiles to celebrate their love of literature and reading.  In this blog we look at just some of many benefits of getting stuck into a good book:

  • It stimulates the mind and improves memory

As we age, so the risk for Alzheimer’s and dementia increases. Reading books can prevent the early onset of these diseases. Why? Reading books provides mental stimulation and just like the muscles in the body, the brain needs its regular exercise too. In fact, reading for just a few minutes every day keeps the brain in a state of engagement and action.

  • Reading reduces stress and can help sleep

Enjoying a good novel can distract the elderly from the monotony and stress of their daily lives, taking them to a different place and time. It can help relax their mind and melt away their tensions. Reading in bed has long been considered a failsafe way to fall asleep and is far healthier for the brain that falling asleep in front of a television screen or other electronic device which can actually impede rest.

  • Reading can be a social connection with others – and build confidence

Elderly book lovers not only mentally benefit from reading – it can also improve their personal and social relationships through a shared love of the same book – or by joining a book club. It’s never too late to widen you vocabulary – boosting knowledge also gives extra confidence in communicating with others.

Some residents come to Birchwood already armed with their collection of favourite books – but if not, there are plenty of novels and other non-fiction books available on the shelves here. Many of them are in large print for those with visual impairments and we can even order audio format books from the Kent Blind Association.

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