Senior home care that is not just practical but enriching is not some recent invention. In his documentary series The Story of China, British historian Michael Wood describes a book about caring for aging parents written in 1085. The Chinese reverence for the aged is well known, but the ideas in this book are still so relevant that it remains in print today, nearly a thousand years after its introduction.
What seems to make the volume resonate is its focus on more than the physical requirements of caring for an older parent. It offers strong counsel on the need to give older adults access to things that make their lives happy, not just possible. All our older loved ones carry within them a lifetime of interests, hobbies and passions. Part of the caregiver role is to keep them in touch with the things they love.
This summer, rather than recommending the books we’re reading that might be of interest to other caregivers, we’d like to suggest subjects that will interest our older loved ones. Are they fans of a certain musical genre? Do they have a particular interest in one period of history? Is your loved one a movie buff or a sports fan?
It’s also worthwhile to consider titles available in formats that are appropriate for the individual. Some will prefer large print or audio versions, while standard editions may be fine for others. We also like to look for books that other members of the family may enjoy, as well. Discussing stories and ideas helps everybody appreciate reading that much more.
If you have students with summer reading lists of their own, chances are there’s a bit of classic literature that could liven up family discussions around the picnic table.
What are you reading or recommending? Join the conversation on Facebook.