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Audio Books A Favored Activity In Care Homes

Oct 29, 2007
Seniors embrace audio books for a variety of reasons. If you plan activities for a care home, consider adding audio books to your library.

There's something comforting about having a story read to us. In many cases, our mothers or other treasured relatives pulled us up onto warm laps, and read fairy tales, fables, and fantasies to us until we slept like the babes that we were, and so it's no wonder now that hearing a story read is embraced by the seniors who experienced it firsthand, and then performed it for their children and grandchildren.

They were a generation of readers, but now, limitations might prevent them from holding a book, turning its pages, or even seeing the words. For them, audio books can still provide access to literature and stories that not only entertains, but continues to make them feel connected to life.

By playing a chapter a day from an audio book, then discussing it with those who are able, cognitive skills are less likely to decline as rapidly, and your residents have something to anticipate for the next day. It also gives them something to discuss with their friends at a time when subject material may be elusive. In a care home, you don't hear discussions about happenings at the workplace, or weekend plans to the lake or mountains. It's a time to live vicariously through stories, and stories are best delivered via audio.

Audio books are good for the imagination. When people watch a movie, their brain doesn't have to work to envision the scene. An audio book, on the other hand, forces a listener to create their own visual picture of the characters, and the setting as it is described or inferred through narration. In a room of thirty people, you will find thirty different mental images conceived from the same spoken words. The creativity required provides necessary exercise for aging brains.

A new audio book that is delighting seniors in care homes is "My First 100 Years!" by R. Waldo McBurney. Mr. McBurney is a Kansas beekeeper, who at 105-years of age still works processing honey. He also has the distinction of being the oldest person to narrate his autobiography according to the Audio Publishers Association. In this new audio book, he tells of his early life on the western plains of Kansas before electricity, walking to a one-room schoolhouse, and sharing the bath water with siblings on Saturday nights. Elders can certainly identify with his experiences, and you'll see nods of agreement as the residents of your care home listen to the wisdom they will recognize as parental.

McBurney goes on to chronicle his later track and field career in which he won numerous medals, and set records. He tells of the importance of good nutrition, faith, exercise, and a positive attitude, just a few of the twenty-one factors he cites as important to a person's longevity. He even plays the harmonica interludes between chapters.

It will spark lively discussions, bring back fond memories, and make your residents smile.

"My First 100 Years"
by R. Waldo McBurney
ISBN: 9780979467202
Approximately 2.5 hours on 2 CDs
Read by the author

Available from www.AudioBookMan.com where shipping is always free.
About the Author
Terry W. Lessig is a writer and audio publisher in Phoenix, Arizona. Visit our audio bookstore, AudioBookMan or the publisher's blog.
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