Reading as an Antidote to Loneliness
After my last post about Visiting Someone with Alzheimer’s, I came across this article: Reading: The Antidote to Loneliness. Find it at: Today’s Caregiver at Caregiver.com. This article, written by William McDonald, is the perfect follow up on activities to do when visiting someone with Alzheimer’s/Dementia. William points out how reading makes a great escape for the person who may have lost touch with the world around them. He tells us how some people find ways to make the story more meaningful to them. He also tells how reading can awaken them– albeit briefly– to the life they shared with you.
William McDonald, is an Emmy Award winning writer and published author who, for more than 30 years, specialized in emotional communication in the broadcast industry. For several more years, he was a caregiver in assisted-living homes, memory-care homes and private homes, and it was there that he met many of the old friends who inspired writings like this. He writes full time from his home in Colorado. Contact William at www.oldfriendsendlesslove.com
Reading out loud is often overlooked as a great activity to share. My daughters and I read the Hunger Games together, out loud, together. We each took turns reading. It was fun and created a bond. It reminds me that someone doesn’t have to have dementia or Alzheimer’s to make reading out loud a great activity. But when they do, it is a great way to engage. Does it remind you of anything?
Adult Picture Books for People with Dementia/Alzheimer’s
Don’t think adults with dementia can read? Turns out some can. When Rachel Thompson discovered it was possible– if the words were presented the right way (see article about her at www.cbc.ca/news)– she created MarlenaBooks.com. These illustrated picture books have limited words on each page and an arrow to trigger page turning. What a great idea for people with dementia to give them a sense of accomplishment.
So the next time you visit someone with Alzheimer’s, find out what their favorite book is, and take it to read. You will most likely enjoy the experience as much as they will.