People with Dementia Can Read? Who Knew!

Posted by Julie Boggess on Oct 21, 2021 9:35:43 AM


This is something that should not have come as a surprise to me, but it did.  Persons living with dementia, even in the mid to later stages, can call upon their long term memory and actually read!  Not only can they read, they can enjoy themselves!

It turns out that I was partially correct, in that people with dementia are unable to read text dense, visually overwhelming materials.  I think back to my early days working in the nursing home when we would place a National Geographic magazine or USA Today Newspaper in front a person with dementia thinking that would keep them busy and engaged.  Sheesh.

Created by Susan Ostrowski, MA, MS, CCC-SLP,  Reading2Connect® is a life enrichment program centered on books adapted for adults living with dementia. The R2C® strengths-based program enables a higher level of wellbeing through reading independently, expressing individuality, recalling pasts, sharing humor, and emotionally connecting with peers, family, and caregivers.

This works because reading is a skill that is generally preserved and intact in the procedural memory of an elderly person.  Like brushing teeth or using a spoon, the ability to read is automatic and often remains to some degree functional even in the later stages of dementia.  

Bring Back The Joy of Reading

The Barrington Area Council on Aging (BACOA), located in Barrington Illinois, recently integrated Reading2Connect® with the members of their Adult Day Program.  This testimonial put a smile on all of our faces:

reading to connect #5

"Our Adult Day Program members look forward to our Reading2Connect sessions. The highly readable print with the accompanying photos allows everyone to connect in their own way. The wide variety of themes help evoke conversation. I observe intimate connections, social engagement and expressive language within the group members".

Pam Pellizzari, CDP
Memory Programs Manager

Reading2Connect® is a perfect program for Area Agencies on Aging searching for innovative ways to reach isolated elders living with dementia.  Memory and Nursing Care Communities and Adult Day Programs can make life enrichment programming stand out with Reading2Connect®!

Learn more today!  
View Reading2Connect in Action- Take 1
View Reading2Connect in Action- Group Activity
Free Demo
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Topics: dementia friendly, Dementia Awareness, Dementia and Reading, dementia programming, Joy of Reading, Dementia-related

Remembering William (Bill) Keane: Always the Teacher

Posted by Julie Boggess on Aug 19, 2021 9:39:05 AM

There will be a wonderful gathering of Aging Services professionals on Saturday, August 21 in Chicago to celebrate the life of our friend, colleague, and passionate advocate for dementia capable care, William Keane.  Bill is one of the many mentors who shaped my philosophies and personal mission in eldercare, and I am honored to be one who will share how Bill continued to teach me, even in the later stages of dementia. In Bill's honor, I would like to share a snippet, because it is a reminder to all of us that wisdom still lives inside a person with dementia.

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Topics: AGE-u-cate Training Institute, dementia friendly, Senior Care Industry, Pioneer Network, Alzheimer's Association, professionals, Leaders, elder care, dementia education, Advocacy, Dementia Awareness, Parkinson's Diseases

Validation in Dementia Care: Thank You, Naomi!

Posted by Ann Catlin on Dec 5, 2019 9:00:55 AM
Validation helps caregivers step into the world of a person with dementia, creating understanding and empathy.
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Topics: Senior Care Professionals, Memory Care, Family Caregiver, dementia, Family, caregivers, compassionate touch, Alzheimer's disease, Hospital Professionals, dementia friendly, understanding, touch

Dementia-Friendly Faith Communities: Let's Get Started

Posted by Julie Boggess on Jul 22, 2019 11:19:59 AM
Faith communities should start to think about creating a culture of acceptance for persons with dementia.
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Topics: The Faith Community, AGE-u-cate Training Institute, Training, dementia, dementia friendly, Faith Community, faith communities, Faith, AGE-u-cate Training

"Remember This" Changes the Conversation about Dementia

Posted by Pam Brandon on Oct 9, 2018 2:03:25 PM

Dementia Friendly Fort Worth recently sponsored Remember This, a participatory performance experience by the Texas Tech University School of Theatre and Dance.  Created and produced by Dr. Tyler Davis, Genevieve Durham DeCesaro, Rachel Hirshorn-Johnston, and Dr. Annette Sobel,  Remember This is about changing the conversation about dementia.

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Topics: The Family Caregiver, Senior Care Professionals, Training, dementia, Alzheimer's disease, dementia friendly, Faith Community, Dementia Friendly Fort Worth

'Samen Dementievriendelijk' teaches people to recognize and help people with dementia

Posted by Pam Brandon on May 25, 2018 8:30:12 AM

I thought this intriguing blog post title would spark some interest, as I'm writing this while on a European trip that will be concluding in Amsterdam.  Samen Dementievriendelijk is the Netherland's Dementia Delta Plan, which aims to create dementia-friendly communities by teaching people to recognize and help people living with dementia.

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Topics: AGE-u-cate Training Institute, Senior Care Professionals, dementia, Dementia Live, Hospital Professionals, dementia friendly, Dutch, Samen Dementievriendelijk, Netherlands, Dementiadelta Plan

Why YOUR City Needs to become Dementia Friendly

Posted by Pam Brandon on May 4, 2018 10:29:31 AM

I'm honored to be part of the exciting Dementia Friendly Fort Worth initiative.  Not only are we the first major city in Texas to undertake this effort, but one of the largest cities in the United States.  We are part of Dementia Friendly America (DFA), which is a multi-sector collaborative on a mission to foster "dementia friendly" communities across the nation.

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Topics: AGE-u-cate Training Institute, The Family Caregiver, Senior Care Professionals, Care Partners, Dementia Live®Training, leadership, dementia friendly, Faith Community, Dementia Friendly America, Community, Dementia Friendly Fort Worth

Have you Heard of Dementia Friendly Purple Table Reservations?

Posted by Pam Brandon on Feb 2, 2018 11:39:15 AM

I just learned about the Purple Table Reservations program and was beyond excited to learn and share with my readers.

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Topics: AGE-u-cate Training Institute, The Family Caregiver, Senior Care Professionals, Dementia Live, dementia friendly, Dementia Friendly America, Purple Table Reservations, Dining

How Can We Improve the Shopping Experience for People with Dementia?

Posted by Pam Brandon on Jan 23, 2018 9:57:31 AM

Studies affirm that almost 80 percent of people with dementia listed shopping as a favorite activity.  At the same time, 63 percent of people surveyed didn't think that shops were doing enough to help people with dementia.

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Topics: Senior Care Professionals, Training, dementia, Care Partners, dementia friendly, Employees, understanding, older adults

Creating a Dementia Friendly Bank - Looking Through a New Lens

Posted by Pam Brandon on Oct 17, 2017 11:25:14 AM

As bankers and financial advisors we must develop systems, policies and facilities that meet the every changing needs of people living with dementia, allowing independence to access and manage their money without fear of financial abuse.  Creating a dementia friendly bank will require training, education - and looking at their world through a different lens.

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Topics: Senior Care Professionals, Training, dementia, dementia friendly, money, staff

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