Why Reading is Good for Mental Health

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The Benefits of Books

Here at Marlena Books, we value the power of books. Not a lot of people know how far a good book can take you and the impact it may have on your life. This is basically the foundation of Marlena Books - how reading can improve the lives of dementia patients. Especially in this generation, reading is hugely ignored and is declining rapidly. It’s important that we hold on to our books. As they say, there is no friend as loyal as a book :)
Books are known to improve a patient’s quality of life. Most patients are able to hold a conversation about a meaningful part of a book that they enjoyed even though they usually struggle with verbal exchanges. The fact that one’s reading ability isn’t totally destroyed by dementia tends to surprise quite a few caregivers. At earlier stages, many patients still enjoy reading, even at later stages, patients find that reading helps to keep them engaged.

Patients are more likely to engage with the book if it personally relates to them. Although some experimented with children books, however, this didn’t work as they would lose their patient’s attention. Reading helps the patients interact a lot more than they usually would. Encouraging such interaction can be extremely beneficial as this energizes them and makes them feel connected to the world.

Another way to include reading in a dementia patient’s life could be through reading groups with other dementia patients and their respective caregivers. This may seem a little farfetched to begin with, but this may work well with patients who are at an earlier stage. Reading groups are known to improve cognitive stimulation. Caregivers have also noticed that reading groups have improved their care-recipient's mood and concentration levels.

Not only does reading help with cognitive stimulation, it overall benefits one’s mental health. Having a healthy mind leads to living a healthy life. Yes, reading is great for dementia patients, but it is even better at preventing dementia incidents amongst healthy individuals. Some mental health benefits of recreational reading include reduced stress and anxiety and increased cultural awareness. Studies have shown that reading more and keeping up with other hobbies has actually been associated with a lower risk of developing dementia. Interestingly enough reading fiction above magazines and newspapers is what has been most popular in terms of reducing the risk of developing dementia.

Reading leads to a healthier brain at old age! Those who were frequent readers had a higher mental capacity at an older age in comparison to those who don’t. The value of reading has increased so much in the United Kingdom that doctors have begun bibliotherapy (also known as “Book Therapy”) as a form of treatment for patients with mental illnesses. For some patients, required reading has now become part of their prescription.

Let us know how reading has helped you in the comments below!