CareLinx "senior" librarian regularly downloads free audiobooks to her iPhone from her library’s Overdrive app so she can enjoy action-packed adventures while walking on the YMCA’s treadmill each afternoon. Exercise is her goal, but the next chapter is her incentive to stay in shape! We recommend audiobooks as an engaging way to stimulate senior minds.Reading stimulates the mind A perfect activity for seniors is to read. A great story, historical event, or exciting mystery can transport them to another reality. It helps pass the time, keeps them out of trouble, and is fun! Best of all, reading engages and stimulates the brain. That reduces the risk of cognitive diseases like Alzheimer’s. Books on tape Because eyesight naturally declines with age, many seniors find it tiring to read on their own. It would be nice if you could sit and read to them every day, but that’s just not realistic. One solution is to get books on tape, also called audiobooks. Get free books on tape from the public library For those who prefer using a tape or CD player, your local public library lends books on tape for free. Talk with a librarian to find out how to borrow books on tape from your library. You can also browse your library’s online services to borrow downloadable audio files for use on a computer or smartphone. There is also an impressive National Library Service (NLS) for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. NLS selects books and magazines for full-length publication in braille, e-braille, and audio. Another free source of audiobooks is VibriVox, created by volunteers who read books for those who are sight-impaired. Buy the latest audiobooks online If your older adult uses a Kindle or smartphone app, they can listen to audiobooks on their devices. These two leading services have all the latest bestsellers and a huge selection of books.

Both Audible and Audiobooks charge a monthly subscription fee that includes one book per month. Additional books cost extra and each book is not inexpensive. It gets pricey if your senior “reads” quickly or isn’t interested in listening to a book more than once. Each service offers a free 30-day trials that let you download a book for free. That gives you a chance to test out the services before you commit. Bottom line Borrowing books on tape and downloading eAudiobooks from the library are great free options, but the selection may be more limited, especially if you want the newest best sellers or lengthy classics. Buying audiobooks from Audible or Audiobooks gives you a huge selection. Either way, your senior can enjoy plenty of brain-stimulating reading/listening. And while they’re happily occupied, you can take a well-deserved nap or cross a few things off your to-do list! By Connie Chow, Contributing Writer and Founder of DailyCaringImage: Open Culture

Photo of Connie Chow, founder of DailyCaring
November 3, 2021
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