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Book Club Benefits Seniors

The Importance of a Good Book

While streaming television shows have become wildly popular, those who opt for a book and company instead can reap many rewards. The experiencing of working through a book with other people can be richer and more fulfilling.

Reading was the preferred pastime of the wealthy and religious elite for centuries. When the printing press was invented, it was no longer a privilege reserved for the aristocracy. Access to books expanded rapidly. Anyone could get their hands on one, although not everyone did.

Today, reading is common, although much of it takes place on a computer screen or electronic device.  There are health benefits associated with reading that make it an important part of the day-to-day life of the older adult. These health benefits can be maximized through participation in a book club.

  • Brain exercise – Yes, your brain needs exercise as much as your body does in order to maintain optimum health. Reading helps with this by protecting your memory and exercising your reasoning and analytical skills. Need proof? Read a good mystery or suspense novel. Your brain will get a workout trying to figure out whodunnit!
  • Watching a movie, or the news, or even reading on an electronic screen before bed can make it more difficult for you to get to sleep due to the blue light emitted. However, reading before bedtime is a fantastic way to unwind. Choose the right tangible book to help you relax and send you off to dreamland.
  • Mentally challenging activities have been shown to build connections between neural pathways. Researchers believe that reading may be one of the activities that might help prevent or delay Alzheimer’s disease. The connections that are made during reading and other mind challenging activities can help the brain compensate for damage in the brain of a person who does develop the disease.

Reading for entertainment or information can be exciting on its own. You can receive joy and satisfaction from reading an enjoyable book. You can also multiply the benefits when you join a book club and read and discuss the book with others.

The Joy of Reading with Others

A book club provides many benefits. In addition to keeping you reading, it also provides socialization which is crucial for older adults who can become isolated. High blood pressure, depression, anxiety, even higher levels of inflammation have been associated with isolation and all these things can lead to chronic illness and affect the quality and longevity of one’s life.

Lively discussions, meaningful relationships, and something to look forward to are wrapped up in your local book club. Additionally, you may learn about new subjects. You may even be introduced to new hobbies in addition to reading.

Depending on what your group chooses to read, you may have an opportunity to keep up with current events and participate in challenging discussions. There are many books on the market now that reflect the hot topics of the day. From comedy to history, autobiographies and in-depth studies, the sky is the limit when it comes to interesting topics to choose from.

In today’s tech age, you can access book clubs in a variety of ways. There are national book clubs available online. There are reading communities that specialize in specific genres or authors. Some book review sites also promote associated book clubs. Cyber-book clubs can be interesting, and subjects can be provocative even if they lack the warmth of an in-person book club.

Libraries, senior centers, churches, and other social organizations often have opportunities for individuals to join book clubs. You may want to look around to find a club that is reading a book on a topic of interest to you or you may want to jump into the most convenient club near you. If neither of those options sounds particularly appealing, you can always start your own book club!

Starting a Book Club

Since you are the founder of the club, at least for the first book or so, you get to choose the direction the club will go. You get to decide the theme for the club. You may have an interest in classic literature, travel, recent biographies or some other area. Think of the people you know who have similar interests and invite them to join you.

Decide where you want to meet. The first meeting may be in your living room or at the library. Meeting in homes can be cozy, but you will also want to keep the group small. Public spaces such as libraries or the senior center may allow you to use one of their rooms for your book club.

At your first meeting, you will want to find out from the other participants what time works best for everyone and how often you will meet. Some clubs meet weekly while others come together once a month. Creating a schedule allows everyone to know when to expect meetings and when meetings will be cancelled due to vacation, holidays, or other considerations.

As a group, you can decide on your reading list. Allow everyone to have input so that all members have an opportunity to make suggestions. Also, as a group, you may want to formulate club rules. Agreed upon guidelines will help ensure that meetings run smoothly creating a safe environment and allowing everyone a chance to speak.

Your group rules should include the role of the moderator. Will he or she present questions to the group for discussion? Or will each member come up with questions of their own? Because book clubs are so popular some books will have questions located at the back and some publishers will provide questions on their websites for book clubs.

Reading is an important aspect of senior living and sharing that experience with others through a book club can lead to enriching experiences. You will find that About Care Home Care provides professional, trusted and compassionate care for seniors who want to live at home but need help. Our services help seniors continue living enriched, happy lives. Contact us today for more information.

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