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Massac Memorial Lending Library

(Metropolis, IL) The New Beginnings program at Massac Memorial Hospital created a Lending Library for patients and staff to use. The idea behind a Lending Library is that anyone can borrow a book or lend a book for free. Staff, patients, coworkers and the local library donated books. The program organizes the large print books on one bookcase and regular print books on another. This is a great way to engage with the community while promoting reading as a healthy activity.

J. McIntosh, PT

Four Benefits of Reading for your Aging Brain

If you’re an avid reader, then you’ve probably noticed that your memory isn’t quite what it used to be. While this may seem like a cause for concern, it can be a great thing! Keeping your mind active as you age has several benefits, and reading could be the answer you need to prevent or delay dementia and Alzheimer’s disease! Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of reading for your aging brain and how it can make all the difference in brain health.

Improves Memory

One of the most well-known benefits of reading is that it helps increase memory. As we age, our memories tend to become weaker and less effective. By continuing to read and learn new information, however, you can keep your mind active and recall memories more easily. A recent study showed that those who read for 30 minutes a day were 32% less likely to develop dementia than non-readers.

Provides Opportunities to Connect

You can never have too many people in your life. Some relationships are more important than others, but a meaningful relationship, whether with a neighbor, coworker, or even someone you just met, is something to be treasured. Through reading for your aging brain and making connections with other people, you will make new friends and create an environment that keeps you mentally stimulated and challenged. So, take part in your local book club, volunteer at an old folk’s home, or socialize over coffee at Starbucks—your mind will thank you for it!

Reduces Stress

Knowing how to reduce stress is important. Chronic stress has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, obesity, and other health problems. Researchers have found that reading for your aging brain decreases stress levels by activating areas of your brain that control pleasure and reward while also lowering cortisol levels (the hormone released during stressful situations). Lowering chronic stress through regular readings can help you live a happier and healthier life.

Lowers Depression

Researchers have found that people who regularly read newspapers or magazines seem to suffer less from depression and experience a slower rate of cognitive decline with age. One study showed that people who said they had no interest in reading were more than twice as likely as avid readers to be depressed. If reading isn’t one of your favorite activities now, consider making time for it by committing yourself to 5 minutes a day-the benefits of doing so will last a lifetime!


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