Smartphones, TVs, computers, and tablets consumer our daily lives. In fact, Americans spend an average of 10 hours a day staring at a screen. Whether used for work or entertainment, technological devices have quickly become an integral part of our daily lives. Part of the allure of these devices is their ease of use and accessibility to nearly any content the user desires. However, studies have also shown that staring at a backlit screen for long periods of time can have negative effects on brain patterns and strain our eyes.
With all this content at the touch of a finger, it may never occur to a personal care assistant to try reading books with their home care patients. However, studies have consistently shown that daily reading can have great health and mind benefits for all ages. Below are just some of the ways that reading can help those receiving in-home supportive services to live healthier lives:
- Reading is Great for the Brain: Adults that spent time reading each day experience a 32% slower rate of cognitive decline. For senior home care patients, reading can help slow the onset or lessen the effects of neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s or dementia.
- Reading Improves Vocabulary: It is estimated that we learn 5-15% of the words we know by reading. For adolescent and children home care patients, reading (or being read to) each day can help them learn in new and engaging ways.
- Reading Encourages Imagination: By reading stories, our brain Is forced to imagine the plot lines, locations, and characters. This practice of imagining can greatly benefit adolescent home care patients in social situations as well as in school.
In addition to traditional books, audiobooks are a great option for PCAs and family caregivers providing at-home care for children or those that are seeing impaired.