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An excellent activity for those living in a seniors community in Penticton is to read. Reading has many benefits, beyond just the personal enjoyment of a good story, or topic of interest. Seniors living in long term care in Penticton can enjoy a number of benefits from regular reading, including:

  • Improved Memory
  • Improved Cognition
  • Reduced Stress
  • Delaying Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Improved Memory

Perhaps one of the most obvious benefits to the elderly who continue to read is the positive effects it can have on memory. Regular reading has been shown to help strengthen and maintain the connections between neurons within the brain, helping with memory retention. Just as regular exercise can help keep your muscles and bones strong, regular reading can exercise your brain.

Improved Cognition

Reading can also benefit the elderly by helping to improve mental cognition. Seniors who regularly read often have improved analytical and reasoning skills compared to those who do not. This helps with everyday decision making and problem solving. These abilities tend to slowly decline with age, but reading can help to slow this.

Reduced Stress

Reading is also an excellent way to decrease stress. While reading, people tend to be more relaxed, and have reduced heart rate, lower blood pressure, and less muscle tension compared to not reading. Reading also helps with sleep, as reducing tension and anxiety can help lead to a better night’s sleep. And of course, who doesn’t love to fall asleep reading a good story.

Delaying Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Finally, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, activities that challenge the brain help to preserve neuronal connections, increasing the amount of time it would take for symptoms of this disease to occur. As mentioned with improved memory, strengthening and maintaining neural connections is very important, and reading is a great way to do this. Remember the old saying – “use it or lose it”.

If you are already an avid reader, then keep it up! If not, consider finding a good book and jumping in. It is never to late to give your brain a good workout.