Seniors who read often enjoy much more than just a good story. Scientific studies have found many benefits of reading for older adults, from reducing stress and enhancing sleep to improving memory circuits, sharpening decision-making and possibly even delaying the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. These top five benefits demonstrate why good senior reading habits help preserve mental faculties, enabling people to live independently longer.
1. Enhancing Memory Reading exercises your memory, which is critical to the short-term recall of everyday events. Regular mental workouts through reading can strengthen the brain’s neural network, helping your mind become more receptive to learning and memory retention.
2. Sharpening Decision-Making Skills Reading can improve the analytical and reasoning power seniors need to solve problems, an ability known as fluid intelligence that declines throughout adulthood.
3. Delaying Onset of Alzheimer’s and Dementia Dr. Zaven Khachaturian, senior science adviser to the Alzheimer’s Association, says that brain-challenging activities build a reserve of neuronal connections, making it take longer for the Alzheimer’s process to destroy enough neurons for symptoms to emerge.
4. Reducing Stress When it comes to unwinding, getting lost in a good book beats listening to music, having a cup of coffee, or going for a walk. It only took six minutes for the heart rate and muscle tension of participants to relax once they dove into a book.
5. Sleeping Better Reading in bed has long been considered a surefire way to fall asleep. This activity induces shut-eye better than falling asleep in front of a television screen or other electronic device, which has been proven to keep people awake longer or even disrupt their rest.