Joy of Reading is Ageless and Digital Technology Makes Options Endless

As seniors age, we sometimes find them no longer doing some of the activities in which they once found joy.

Seniors may not be enjoying their favorite hobbies or other activities anymore for reasons beyond their control.

It is important for all of us to have hobbies and actively engage in them for brain health.

Everyone who is aging will suffer from some brain deterioration, but science tells us that continuing to partake in some hobbies can reduce this deterioration while it improves our quality of life.

This is especially true for our senior loved ones.

Obstacles to Lifelong Hobbies

Pastimes that seniors enjoyed when they were younger may have been discontinued by them because they may not feel that they are up to the task of continuing due to physical, visual or mental impairment.

They may think particular hobbies or pastimes take too much effort so they are no longer any fun. They cease being rewarding or fulfilling.

Sometimes they don’t have a friend with whom they desire to participate in some of their once favorite activities like walking or a sporting activity.

Seniors may need transportation or money to participate in other pursuits they used to enjoy, such as antiquing or thrift shopping.

Oftentimes our loved ones no longer wish to visit a zoo or a mall because they may not be able to walk that far on their own and don’t want to be a burden on others.

Quality & Enjoyment of Life Impacted

They may stop picnicking in the park because it is too much effort to gather all the supplies and carry it where they want to go.

It may be they are alone and would rather not go by themselves.

They stop hosting family dinners because the cooking and shopping are overwhelming.

Some are embarrassed to let others see they don’t have the same capabilities as before.

Oftentimes hobbies are forgotten over the years, as the now-seniors raised children or grandchildren and worked at a job.

Without these familiar activities and enjoyable hobbies, our senior’s quality of life becomes impacted.

Reading is Lifelong Enjoyment

One activity that most of our senior loved ones enjoyed throughout their lives, whether it was the newspaper, magazines or a good book, is reading.

Their lifelong love of reading is not an activity that they need to stop doing as they age.

Reading is an important brain stimulating activity that researchers encourage. In fact, it is recommended seniors read ‘anything’!

Unfortunately, many more just stop reading altogether, since they don’t feel they can get their hands on their favorite books or other reading material.

Many seniors whose vision is becoming impaired may prefer large print books to experience adventure and get lost in a good story but may not have access to large print reading material in the genre they enjoy.

Improving Seniors’ Access to a Good Read

In addition to the usual sources for reading material that will satisfy our senior loved ones, technology has come along to meet their reading for pleasure needs more easily.

Many seniors are not capitalizing on the available technology but caregivers can help them connect with ways to get them reading more.


The library has been an excellent place to get any genre of books desired, magazines, newspapers and even movies to watch. The local library is a great place to meet others, participate in community events and learn a little.

Libraries now have computer stations available that anyone can use, which is handy if your senior doesn’t have internet access at home.

Some people have decided that libraries are on the way out but they are still alive and well. Many have bookmobiles that will come to your senior.

If your senior can’t get to the library and search the stacks anymore, they may be able to look online for books and authors they will like and order them with your help. Now cardholders can even check out books for their technology device and get books sent electronically and they will be removed on the due date without them having to go anywhere.

Libraries also have large print books and audio books available in a wide range of titles.

Libraries are also a good place to buy cheap books if you want a paper copy to keep or need longer to read than a few weeks when they hold book sales of discontinued items.


Digital devices are great for reading books and magazines using apps like Kindle or Bookshout.

Your senior can adjust the screen size so that no matter their vision, they will be able to read the print.

There are many free titles but they can also get the latest bestseller or cookbooks they may desire.

Tablets are easy to use for seniors due to their touch interface and easy to turn on and off buttons. They are usually light, small and there are numerous gadgets that can make them even easier to use such as keyboards and cases to keep them safe if dropped.

The best part is that they link to the internet so can be used not only to download or purchase books and magazines but they can also help access the library inventory and order their favorite books.

Dedicated E-readers

Like tablets, e-readers make reading a book easier for many seniors because they can set the font size and download book titles through a variety of apps.

Many e-readers now are similar to tablets in that they can also access the internet. However, be aware, older e-readers are limited to just reading books while tablets might offer more broad technology benefits for many seniors.


Books on tape have grown up. Seniors can now get audiobooks right on their smartphones, tablets, or computers using apps like Audible (which is an Amazon service).

They can pick from a variety of authors and titles, new releases or classics. These books are often read by professional readers, sometimes well-known actors, who bring the books to life.

Audiobooks are great for seniors with vision loss!

What Family Caregivers Can Do

These technology devices can put books and other reading material at your senior’s fingertips (with a little help from you)!

Family caregivers and friends can give gift cards for more books or audiobooks so that your senior can easily keep their personal library growing.

If you download their gift card, they can just deduct from the credit balance without entering the info in at the checkout which might help seniors who are fearful of this type of transaction.

You can also point them to low- or no-cost reading options, such as Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program, so they can read to their heart’s content without busting their budgets.

Reading is ageless and family caregivers can encourage and help their senior loved ones regain their love of reading!