Books have been around for at least 2,000 years. The written word never ceases to inform and entertain. Audiobooks, on the other hand, emerged in 1935, and were originally intended to be listened to by the blind and those with partial sight. Today, people of all ages, walks of life and capabilities listen to audiobooks for the same reasons people read.
Seniors benefit immensely from the spoken word. Advancements in technology make audiobooks accessible and readily available, even for aging seniors.
Benefits of Audiobooks for Seniors
1. A Solution to Failing Eyesight
Elderly individuals may be reluctant to engage in reading their favorite book when their eyesight is failing. Rather than strain their eyes and experience fatigue, some seniors would rather just not pick up a book at all—even if reading had been a beloved pastime.
Audiobooks take the physical challenge out of reading. Seniors can still join the detectives in their midnight investigations of a haunted house, travel to a distant galaxy via spacecraft or simply roll through the grassy hills—all while listening to, rather than reading, a good story.
2. An Antidote to Loneliness
Many seniors spend time alone, resulting in feelings of isolation and loneliness. The heart-wrenching feeling of loneliness is softened when they listen to an audiobook. The simple sound of human voices helps seniors feel less alone.
Although socialization and conversation are not formally present when listening to an audiobook, the elderly experience comfort in imagining someone they know or love is reading to them. Fans of Carol Burnett, for instance, will find the audiobook This Time Together: Laughter and Reflection an amusing diversion as the actress recalls stories of her antics on stage.
Older individuals also feel like a part of the story when the audiobook narrators read the action aloud. The scuffles of a robbery gone wrong or a sentimental story of a struggling orphan distract older people from their loneliness for the duration of the audiobook. For a few hours, seniors are transported from their isolation into an exciting world—all via audiobooks.
3. An Affordable Entertainment Source
Audiobooks can be found for free. Websites, like LibriVox, offer free audiobooks, even including classics in their list of available titles. LibriVox is run by volunteers; and, the audiobooks are read by volunteers from various countries around the world. Listeners can enjoy a LibriVox audiobook via CD, computer, MP3 or iPod. Mark Twain: The Complete Interviews audiobook is just one of many gems on LibriVox that seniors will enjoy.
Seniors who have a library card can check out audiobooks from the local library and just as easily as checking out books.
4. An Easy-to-Hold Alternative
Arthritis plagues some seniors. The pain of grasping a physical book is too much to bear. Plus, arthritic hands make turning pages a difficulty or even painful. Audiobooks are a welcome relief. No longer do the elderly have to prop up a large, heavy book to pleasurably consume its contents. Rather, audiobooks conveniently possess zero weight. Audiobooks can be listened to without holding a physical item.
5. A Diversified Form of Entertainment
Books have their own unique glory. Audiobooks, too, possess exceptional charm. Hearing a story told by narrators breathes new life into the words of familiar characters, settings and plots. When seniors have enjoyed a favorite story their whole life, listening to it as an audiobook is like hearing the story for the first time. The riveting nature of audiobook performances is unbound.
Once-ordinary dialogue takes on new meaning when heard. Audiobooks serve as an excellent and varied addition to a senior’s library.
6. A Multi-tasking Extraordinaire
Some seniors are busy. Those seniors who have a long to-do list can accomplish all they need to do while devouring an audiobook. Elderly individuals whose joint pain makes it difficult to stand for long periods of time to cook, for example, will find turning on an audiobook while in the kitchen helps time pass more pleasantly.
Plus, for older people who do chores, hearing a well-told story eliminates the boredom from doing the laundry, cleaning house or doing the dishes. Small tasks can be accomplished simultaneously while listening to a good audiobook, making the household tasks far less tedious.
7. A Shared Thrill
Audiobooks can be listened to independently and be an enthralling experience. In the same token, a group of seniors, whether in a nursing home, adult day center or senior community center, can get together and share the listening experience.
Murder mysteries, like Murder on the Orient Express, by Agatha Christie, will engage mystery lovers for hours, as they ponder whodunnit! Audiobooks make it possible to bring together interested listeners for an amusing afternoon.
8. A Stimulating Challenge
When seniors face boredom, audiobooks offer plenty of mind stimulation. When seniors face a sedentary lifestyle, thought-provoking audiobooks come to the rescue. History books help seniors relive important moments in their life. The Price of Valor, by David A. Smith, for instance, transports history buffs back to World War II. A Short History of Nearly Everything by writer Bill Bryson gives seniors interested in science a fascinating treat for the intellect.
Listen to Audiobooks When the Caregiver is Away
Your loved one’s caregiver will keep the senior in your life safe and occupied. For moments when the caregiver is away, turn to audiobooks to ease the boredom and loneliness. Caregivers, like those from Assisting Hands Home Care, can be tasked with helping a senior pick out preferred audiobooks for later listening.
Work with Our Trusted Caregivers
Compassionate in-home caregivers from Assisting Hands Home Care also engage in a numerous other support services to ensure the seniors’ days are well spent. Services include meal preparation, transportation to the library, grocery and doctor’s appointments, fall prevention services and dementia care, among others.
Whether your loved one’s needs include 24-hour care or respite care, Assisting Hands Home Care is staffed with a team of reliable caregivers to meet every requirement.
Representatives at the elder care agency will meet with the senior’s family to develop the most fitting and flexible care plan. Assisting Hands Home Care dependably serves the senior populations in the Park Ridge, IL community.
Request a Free Consultation
To request a free consultation with a caregiver, contact Assisting Hands at (224) 444-6422 in Park Ridge, IL.