World Book day 2017
Today is world book day so hundreds of school children are off to school dressed up as their favorite book character. On my way to work this morning, I saw Wally, the Little Mermaid, Harry Potter and even Captain America (although I’m not sure if he’s a book character really!) The kids were so excited, skipping or running along to see what their friend was wearing and many of the Mums looked proud of the handmade outfit or weary from trying to find the perfect outfit!
Reading books can be such a powerful way of communicating in a group and of sharing one on one time, that it occurred to me that it was a perfect way to spend time with an elderly family member, friend, or client. Researchers have found in a number of studies that reading can improve a client’s quality of life. The meanings of written sentences can be understood by — and prompt cogent responses from — even those who have difficulty handling verbal exchanges.
Poetry can also be very stimulating and help with engagement with people with dementia. When you read poetry aloud, you slow down. Every line is full of meaning, condensed down. At the end, people will often go back and reread one line several times. The structure and repetition of poetry is ideal for those with Dementia.
If someone finds it harder to read or hold their attention on longer pieces of writing, short articles or books with concise sections might be more manageable. This could include collections of short stories or poems, as well as newspapers and magazines.
Reading Well Books on Prescription for dementia recommends books that people affected by the condition may find helpful
Social enterprise charity The Reader is celebrating World Book Day this year by connecting those experiencing dementia through shared reading groups. One in six people over the age of 80 have Dementia, and this organisation believes shared reading improves the quality of life for these people through cognitive stimulation and social interaction. Have a look at their website for ideas of books that could bring pleasure to those who live with dementia