Are you looking for activities that keep your aging parents or other loved ones mentally engaged while maintaining social activities outside of your household? Have you considered a book club for seniors?
A book club is an informal group of people who gather to discuss a selected book. The right book club can be good for aging parents, spouses, or caregivers because the combination of reading the book and meeting with others in a friendly discussion encourages a healthy workout for the brain and introduces another opportunity to build social relationships. Two great reasons to encourage reading!
Finding the Right Book Club for Seniors
Many libraries have organized book clubs; some of these are aimed specifically at senior citizens. Senior centers and community centers may also have book clubs, as may local schools, churches and bookstores. If you are unable to find a book club from any of these sources, go online and search; you may find one in your community that has been organized by a private individual.
Once you have located a book club, you may need to do a little investigating. Find out what book the group is currently reading and how far along the members are in the current book. Some aging parents or spouses may not be up to reading long novels or may prefer certain genres. Others may not feel comfortable joining a group that is already halfway through a particular book.
Also find out if the book club knows what books it will be reading next and how the books are selected: Does one person select the books? Do group members vote on which books to read? Do group members take turns selecting a book? These matters may be important to your loved one.
If the senior you are caring for has special needs, can the book club accommodate him or her? If the physical act of reading can be a chore for your senior, is an audio book version available? If not, do you or another family member have the time to read the book aloud to your loved one? Or, do you have a local youth group is seeking a unique volunteer activity?
You may have a loved one who isn’t physically up to making a trip to a book club. If that’s the case, see if you have the time to start a small book club of your own at your home. It doesn’t have to be overly ambitious: it may perhaps include just you, your loved one, and a couple of other family members or close friends.
Books can be a treasure for many aging parents and others. The worlds that they create can fire imaginations and help seniors to find new things to ponder and to share with their caregivers and others.