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Staying Sharp: Reading and Brain Health for Seniors

1 year, 3 months ago

7651  0
Posted on Mar 02, 2023, 7 p.m.

As we age, it's crucial to maintain our cognitive abilities to stay sharp and independent. Reading is not only an enjoyable activity, but it can also improve our brain health and cognitive function. 

This article will explore the benefits of reading for seniors and how it can help with brain health.

Reading and Brain Health

Reading is a complex activity that engages multiple regions of the brain. When we read, we use our visual cortex to process the words on the page and our frontal lobe to comprehend the meaning of those words. This cognitive workout can help to maintain and even improve our brain health as we age.

This review article discusses how reading, particularly in the context of lifelong learning, can improve brain health in older adults by enhancing cognitive reserve. The study provides a comprehensive overview of the literature on the topic and discusses potential implications for interventions promoting mental health in older adults.

Personal Care and Reading

In addition to the cognitive benefits, reading can also have a positive impact on our emotional well-being. Reading can be a form of personal care; its relaxing and unwinding effects provide a break from everyday stress.

Reading can also improve our social connections. Joining a book club or discussing a book with friends can be a great way to connect with others and form new friendships.

Tips for Reading as a Senior

If you're a senior looking to incorporate more reading into your routine, here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Start with short reading sessions: If you need to get used to reading regularly, start with short reading sessions and gradually increase your reading time.
  • Choose books that interest you: Reading should be an enjoyable activity, so choose books that interest you and that you'll look forward to reading.
  • Use audiobooks: If you have difficulty reading due to vision problems or other health issues, consider using audiobooks instead.
  • Join a book club: Joining a book club can be a great way to connect with others and discuss books in a social setting.
  • Set aside time for reading: Set aside a specific time each day for reading, whether in the morning, afternoon, or evening.


Reading is a simple yet effective way to maintain and improve brain health as we age. By engaging multiple brain regions, reading can improve cognitive function and reduce the risk of developing dementia. In addition to the mental benefits, reading can also be a form of personal care and strengthen our social connections. 

So, why not grab a good book and start reading today?!

This article was written for WHN by Evelyn K. Grier who is a skilled content writer and blogger specializing in healthcare, senior care, and digital marketing. She contributes to the blogs and websites of SpringHive Digital Marketing Agency clients, creating engaging and informative content that resonates with readers.  She also shares her expertise in senior care as a contributor to HAC Home Care, a website dedicated to providing helpful tips on caring for elderly family members. Outside work, Evelyn enjoys exploring new cuisines, practicing yoga, and hiking outdoors. 

As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement.

Opinion Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of WHN/A4M. Any content provided by guest authors is of their own opinion and is not intended to malign any religion, ethic group, club, organization, company, individual, or anyone or anything.

Content may be edited for style and length.

References/Sources/Materials provided by:

Hsu, N. S., & Rosenberg-Kima, R. B. (2015). Reading can enhance cognitive reserve and improve brain health in older adults. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 7, 143.

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