Reading, whether it's novels, newspapers, or other texts, can benefit everyone at any age. As we age, this relaxing pastime can often be a struggle for those who suffer from vision loss or decline, Dementia or Alzheimers, and other health concerns. However, many caregivers, family members and close friends have found that reading aloud to the elderly can still provide as much, if not more, benefits to their health and well-being.
Some benefits include:
Reduction in stress and anxiety, allowing the participants to feel a sense of calm and relaxation.
Feelings of comfort as they listen to a soothing voice.
Sense of familiarity when stories from their past are read aloud. THis may include books from their childhood, books that they read to their own children, or articles that they are interested in, such as sailing ships or mystery stories.
Stimulates memories and creativity when read stories or articles about events or items they experienced of used in their lifetime. Reading aloud may also bring out their own storytelling ventures by sharing experiences.
Improves mood and concentration when the stageis set for a calm and relaxing reading time. Ensure they are comfortable and in a quiet and calm place. This will allow them to focus and become engaged in the story.
Increases social interaction, especially when participating in group read-alouds. This sense of community and gathering allows everyone to feel connected and have a sense of belonging.
Examples of Reading Material to use in a Read Aloud
Poems – known and unknown poems
Newspapers columns – Gossip & Gardening columns for example
Short Stories – Covering a range to topics; Humour, Mysteries, Fables
Biographies – Presidents, scientists and other famous people
Religious passages – Bible, Quran
Personal letters and Celebration cards
Catalogues – Clothes, furniture, pets
Plays – Hamlet, Silas Marner, A Streetcar Named Desire
TV Programs – Choose what to watch in the coming week
Travel Brochures – Find places that clients visited
Magazines – Specialty magazines: boats, fishing, motor-houses
Comics – Borrow old style comics from libraries
Recipe books – Very popular with many!
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