How to Start a Book Club in Senior Housing
Setting up a book club in your senior housing is a great way for the residents to spend time with friends and meet new ones. A reading club is not only a great way to socialize but an opportunity to strengthen brain connection, enhance memory, reduce stress, and age-related prevent cognitive issues.
As the world today is rapidly shifting towards digitalization, reading can instantly bring you to a different world. Reading allows one to temporarily disconnect while getting lost in the characters of the story.
If your senior community does not have a book club yet, then it is high time to launch for the benefit of everyone.
The Benefits of Book Clubs in Senior Housing
Whether you like classic novels or John Grisham, reading provides ample benefits. Reading gives you instant access to what it is like to live in the past, entertains you, or learns about specific subjects.
Regardless of your age and genre of interest, reading is valuable because:
It strengthens the brain
Reading strengthens the brain because it involves understanding to process the words you read. In addition, it stimulates creativity when you create images in your mind. Your analytical ability is also practiced when reading.
Reading encourages relaxation for the brain is fully engaged in a single task. A 2009 study found that reading lowers the heart rate and eases tensed muscles, qualities that reduce stress levels.
Book clubs are great ways to reconnect and meet new people who share the same interest. Book clubs in senior housing help fight loneliness and isolation by providing residents a venue to discuss interesting stories or books.
Encourage cultural awareness
Book clubs with diverse reading materials that represent a variety of cultures help us understand and change our perspective toward the differences.
Improve communication skills
Book clubs encourage senior residents to listen and participate in discussions to improve and maintain communications without resorting to personal disagreement.
Book clubs also help senior housing residents to come out of their comfort zone and overcome the fear of expressing opinions, public speaking, and being honest.
How to Get Started
First, you should determine the type of book club you want to launch. Would you like a themed book club like travel, biography, food, or history? Knowing this would help you work out the list of who you would like to invite to be your book club members.
Second, decide the location of your weekly or monthly meet-up. Your senior housing facility may have a library to hold your meetings.
Third, determine how frequently and when you would like to meet. Is it during the daytime or evenings?
Fourth, come up with the book club rules like coming in on time, sharing your thoughts, taking turns in sharing, and such.
Fifth, come up with titles for your reading list. You can commission the help of a local bookstore to locate the books and at the same time ask for recommendations on good reads.
Then start spreading the word among senior housing residents so they can block their schedules for the first meeting. You might want to make DIY flyers to make them more creative and attract potential members.
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