Brain Health – Reading Resources for Seniors

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Want to lower your risk for Alzheimer’s and related dementia? Picking up a good book could be a way to do just that. Studies have shown that the risk of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and other dementia can be reduced through cognitively stimulating activities such as reading. This is great news for avid readers among us!

But for many, access to fresh reading material has been greatly reduced due to social distancing and the closure of many local libraries. Here are some helpful resources for you and your senior loved ones that will turn you into a true bookworm!

Too many books, too little time?

To help narrow down your selection and find the perfect book for your next literary adventure check out GoodReads. Based on your favorite reads, and preferred genres, GoodReads helps you narrow down your new favorite cover-to-cover classic.

October is also National Book Month. If your library seems a bit stale, check out the 2020 National Book Awards from the National Book Foundation. You can even sort based on your loved one’s favorite genre. Science Fiction anyone? Speaking of National Books…

Did you know about the National Book Festival? If not, that’s alright – you can watch it online!

The Library of Congress National Book Festival transitioned to an online format this year, making it more accessible than ever. This year’s theme was American Ingenuity and focused on three “timely topic threads”: Democracy in the 21st Century, Fearless Women, and Hearing Black Voices. If you missed the live stream, check out the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) website to stream the videos on-demand.

Limited Space and Accessibility?

Love books, but don’t have much space for them? Consider a Kindle or iPad for your new personal library. Not only do you have access to multiple titles in a compact size, but you can download any title online through Amazon Kindle, or iTunes. An unlimited library in a small space, count us in!

These tech options are also wonderful for seniors with their compact size and amazing accessibility features. When pages become difficult to turn due to arthritis and decreased dexterity, holding a tablet and swiping with a single finger to turn the page is a breeze.

Words on the page not bright enough? No problem, increase the brightness. Is the text too small? Increase font size.

And for those who have little to no vision, audiobooks are a great alternative. Check out Audible for more info on how to get started.

On a budget? There are free e-books too!

Check out resources available through your local library. Most libraries offer an online or digital library experience now. Visit your local library website for more information on how to get started.

If you already have an online library login, consider checking out the Libby App. Libby is a great way to connect your library account and browse for your next read, in an easy-to-use interface. You can even connect multiple library cards, place holds on books, and read all from your mobile device. The best part? No more driving to the library. No more embarrassing late-fee conversations with your librarian.

For those without mobile device access or a library nearby, check out the free online library through Project Gutenberg. This site offers over 60,000 titles absolutely free. You can even download for offline reading, or download a Kindle version to use with your e-reader app.

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