Many adults have gotten lost in a good book a time or two in their lifetime. That love for reading doesn’t go away as they age. That’s why book clubs are a great activity for those in senior living communities because they provide an opportunity for socialization and intellectual stimulation.

Hosting a book club in your community, whether using an eBook or audiobook, offers seniors a space to come together to listen and discuss pieces of literature they have read. They provide a sense of community and connection with others, which is a great way for seniors to stay socially connected with their peers and remain active and engaged in their community.

Book clubs also help to improve mental stimulation and cognitive function, as aging adults learn new perspectives and concepts from the book. Uniting seniors in this kind of setting keeps the aging mind fresh and keeps depression and anxiety at bay. When individuals no longer have regular connections (i.e. work, school, or community organizations) it can lead to feelings of social isolation. Having senior residents partake in a book club is an easy and low-cost to no-cost way to remain connected to their community and boost their overall well-being.

Advantages of eBooks & audiobooks in senior living

Although most residents like the tactile experience of a book in their hands, there are several advantages to ebooks and audiobooks, especially for older readers:

  1. eBooks let readers change the font and size or space between sentences to make them easier to read.
  2. eBooks are more portable and lighter than real books, making it easy for residents with dexterity issues or arthritis.
  3. Audiobooks are a solution to failing vision problems or arthritis and can combat the degenerative effects of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
  4. Audiobooks breathe new life into the words of characters, settings and plots. They offer cognitive stimulation by improving comprehension, imagination, reading and listening abilities.
  5. Both eBooks and audiobooks let you share reading in your community. Community apps, like the Libby app, let you share your reading progress with other community members.

What is Libby?

OverDrive, the parent company of Libby, strives to create “a world enlightened by reading.” Serving a growing network of 65,000 libraries and schools in 84 countries, OverDrive delivers the industry’s largest digital catalog of ebooks, audiobooks, magazines and other content through award-winning apps. One of those apps is the Libby app, created for libraries and named one of Popular Mechanics’ 20 Best Apps of the Decade!

As people increasingly read and listen to books on their smartphones or tablets, they are discovering one of the best resources is their local public library. Libby seamlessly connects first-time users and experienced readers alike with digital collections. Readers of all ages can select from virtually every subject ranging from mysteries to romances to autobiographies and so much more.

The service is compatible with all major computers and devices, making it easy for senior living communities to offer residents. The community can either take advantage of the book clubs the libraries have already established through Libby, or they can approach their local Library to create a book club through the app for their community. The library will then bring the request to Libby and they will negotiate with publishers on the library’s behalf.

Planning your book club session

There are some things to keep in mind when planning out your community’s book club sessions:

  1. Is the book available in the formats you may need for your residents’ needs? (Large font, audio, multiple language options).
  2. Consider looking at the NYT Bestseller List, and plan out plenty of time for residents to read it. If you have a resident willing to lead the discussion, give them a list of questions or let them develop their own, and let residents share their thoughts.
  3. Authors and memory care experts have written books specifically for memory care patients, providing mental stimulation through simple stories. Check out this list designed for adults with dementia and memory problems.
  4. Looking for questions to use in your discussion? Check out this list from Oprah Daily!)

Libby and Eversound—a perfect match

Chances are, many of your residents have trouble hearing at group events and activities.
This often prevents them from participating and can cause them to skip events out of

Eversound’s wireless headphone system is specifically designed to improve engagement and auditory clarity for residents at senior living group events and activities and is the perfect tool to complement the book club experience in your community. Eversound’s headphones can be used in small group settings so all attendees can listen to the audiobook together. Whether residents conclude their listening session with a group discussion or come together after reading an eBook, participants can use Eversound to facilitate the conversation. Pass around the microphone attached to the Eversound transmitter to amplify the speaker’s voice or place the Eversound Microphone Transmitter in the middle of a table.

When residents can hear better, they’re more apt to partake in group conversations about the book they have read. Implementing the Eversound headphone system to assist your residents with their book club will surely increase engagement, foster community, and boost overall brain health. With the Eversound headphones, residents will be fully immersing themselves in the stories with ease. Learn more today!

To find local libraries that offer OverDrive’s Book Club service, click here, or participate in Overdrive’s own hosted Book Clubs.