The Benefits of Reading, not just for kids!

Elder woman reading a book at home and smilingMay is “Get Caught Reading Month,” which, according to the program’s website, “is a nationwide campaign to remind people of all ages how much fun it is to read.”

The importance of reading for children is often stressed, but there are many benefits of reading as a person ages as well.

Studies show the numerous benefits of reading to consider as you get older.

Stress reduction: You can leave the world behind by getting engrossed in a good story.  It can help you relax and alleviate tensions.

Stimulating your mind: This can help protect you from Alzheimer’s and other memory loss.  Such mental stimulation can even help you sleep better and keep sharp.

Expanding general knowledge, awareness, and vocabulary

Helping your memory: Remembering all the details of characters, plots, etc. gives your brain valuable exercise.

Enhancing analytical thinking and decision-making skills

Improved sleep: Both the mental stimulation it gives and the lulling effect of reading as a bedtime ‘ritual’ contribute to the well-known fact that reading can help you sleep.  Who hasn’t experienced the fact that reading can make one feel sleepy?

For more specifics, you are welcome to visit the following resources, from which this list was drawn:

Here at St. Anne’s, we are happy to offer a “Reading Hour”* twice a week, where Sr. Christina, or a volunteer, reads aloud to residents who gather for the occasion.

Over the several years that this activity has been taking place, we have enjoyed a good number of books.  The residents especially seem to enjoy stories that share what life was like for our pioneering predecessors.

*Actually, about 45 minutes due to attentions spans and time constraints

The art of reading is alive and well at St. Anne’s…celebrating International Literacy Day

book-worm-clip-art-ace9Kanc4Today is recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as International Literacy Day, highlighting the importance of literacy to individuals, communities, and societies alike, according to Wikipedia.

The ability to read is a great gift.  How many of us remember some of our childhood favorite story books?  Also, do you ever stop and think about how many times in the course of a day you rely upon your ability to read without even realizing it? From looking at the morning paper to tasks at work to reading instructions to make supper, the number of times we depend on our literacy is extensive.

At St. Anne’s we help foster this ability, and the use thereof, in several ways.  Both our basic care unit and our low-rent housing apartments have libraries which residents are welcome to use.  We also get two subscriptions to the Grand Forks Herald so residents are able to read the daily news both in our Activity Room and in our Atrium area.  For those who enjoy having literature read to them, we offer “Reading Hour” twice each week, reading from various volumes of fiction.

One further way St. Anne’s provides opportunities for people to utilize and benefit from their literacy is through our monthly newsletter, The Broadcaster.  This little publication also offers residents (who are on the committee) the chance to express themselves, take part in something, and have their names in print.  They have to exercise their capacity for reading to do research which they then include in their articles.

Today, as we mark this international observance, may we be grateful for the gift of reading and use it for good!