Do you struggle to help aging parents and other loved ones fight boredom and remain actively engaged with others on a social level? If so, consider whether such ones might benefit from participating in a book club.
A book club is simply a group of people who get together to discuss a book that they are all reading or have all finished reading. Book clubs can be good for aging parents, spouses, and others because the act of reading the book prevents boredom and the act of meeting with others and discussing the book encourages social relationships. Both of these activities have the additional benefit of helping to keep brains alert and engaged.
Finding the Right Book Club
Many libraries have organized book clubs; some of these are aimed specifically at senior citizens. Senior centers and community centers may also have book clubs, as may local schools, churches and bookstores. If you are unable to find a book club from any of these sources, go online and search; you may find one in your community that has been organized by a private individual.
Once you have located a book club, you may need to do a little investigating. Find out what book the group is currently reading and how far along the members are in the current book. Some aging parents or spouses may not be up to reading long novels or may prefer certain genres. Others may not feel comfortable joining a group that is already halfway through a particular book.
Also find out if the book club knows what books it will be reading next and how the books are selected: Does one person (such as a librarian) pick the books? Do group members vote on which books to read? Do group members take turns selecting a book? These matters may be important to your loved one.
If the senior you are caring for has special needs, can the book club accommodate him or her? If the physical act of reading can be a chore for your senior, is an audio book version available? If not, do you or another family member have the time to read the book aloud to your loved one? (This can take a lot of time, but it can also be both a bonding experience and fun for the person reading aloud.)
You may have a loved one who isn’t physically up to making a trip to a book club. If that’s the case, see if you have the time to start a small book club of your own at your home. It doesn’t have to be overly ambitious: it may perhaps include just you, your loved one, and a couple of other family members or close friends.
Books can be a treasure for many aging parents and others. The worlds that they create can fire imaginations and help seniors to find new things to ponder and to share with their caregivers and others.