Our senior loved ones have spent many a happy time over the years reading a good story — and maybe even reading a story to us!
After all, before the internet (and, some would say, even with it) our elders found the pages of good books to be the best way without leaving home of visiting places, meeting new people and learning new things.
One of the unfortunate consequences of growing older for many is the impairment of their vision.
Many of our older loved ones, especially those most elderly, have put down their books out of frustration.
It is simply too hard to see the words to make the effort worthwhile. Or at least it was…
Books are even more accessible than ever to seniors, however, because of the technologies available for their enjoyment (yes, the paper kind are adapting too).
There are many options that we as family members and/or caregivers can bring to our senior loved ones to renew their love of reading and losing themselves in a good story.
Options for Connecting Seniors with a Good Story
- Large print books – You probably already know about them but may not have sought them out. They aren’t seen around as often as regular print books but they are available in more and more titles.
- Downloadable audio editions of their favorite books – Electronic books they can download instantly and play on their computer, tablet or MP3 player (including many smartphones). Many are read by the author or a famous person whose voice can make a story even more enjoyable. Our favorite source is Audible Audiobooks from Amazon.com.
- Books on tape or CD – Electronic audio books that come loaded onto CDs and cassette tapes and playable like recorded music in those formats. You’ll probably find the cassette format only available for older favorites, most commonly through lending libraries.
- E-readers such as Kindle or Nook – These electronic devices can be set with larger fonts so that most people with diminished vision can read their favorite stories. Many new and favorite titles are available for these e-readers and some libraries also have e-books available for lending.
- Podcasts – Free recordings playable on iPods or other MP3 players and available on a wide variety of topics, from news to special interest to entertainment. Many news organizations make podcasts available from their news broadcasts for listeners to play at their convenience. You can find podcasts on some of your favorite websites and through iTunes.com.
Where Can We Find These Books & Stories?
- Local bookstores, which are good for browsing and meeting other book lovers
- Department stores, thrift stores, grocery stores, and other retail outlets
- Libraries, where you just have to love the price
- Online bookstores from Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble
- Many of their – or your – favorite websites, including news and information sites
- Many senior centers have their own lending libraries
With the rapidly increasing technology, there are more ways than ever to listen to (or read) a good story, with options fitting most every budget. Don’t let your senior loved one give up a favorite pastime just because the way they have always read a story is not possible or enjoyable for them anymore.
You don’t have to be a senior to enjoy these, either. We find technology has made it easier and more convenient for us to enjoy books than was ever possible with traditional printed versions. This is a GREAT time to be a reader — or become one!
We would love to hear how you reconnected your senior loved one to a good story!