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Reading in the moment : stories and activities to share with adults with dementia

Studies have shown that reading in a melodic and rhythmic voice can produce positive changes in mood, emotion and behaviour in those with dementia. This technique - known as bibliotherapy - is used in this book and has been tailored to help those who grew up during the 1930s through to the 1960s, as well providing for people of all cultures. While traditional literature, such as Dickens and Shakespeare, might be beyond the literacy skills of many readers, and while poetry may not interest all, this book presents short stories, prose prompts and biographies which are written in a rhythmic and lyrical way to make communicating easier and more enjoyable. A focus on using short sentences, repeated language features and striking imagery which appeals to all the senses captures moments in time or action. Complex plots and multiple characters are avoided, as are excessively lengthy pieces. Inside this book you will find: a detailed section on the background of how and what to read to those with dementia, as well as the research behind bibliotherapy. This section provides the evidence base for the reading activities and stories; reading topics that are broad in scope, therefore appealing to a wide-reading audience; stories designed to fit on a single or double page A4 spread, allowing them to be copied readily and shared; stories that are 500-800 words in length, allowing several pieces to be shared in a single hour group session; pieces that focus on brief, episodic and descriptive content; prose prompts which consist of powerful words, phrases and visual imagery presented in a double spaced format to encourage slow, deliberate reading; short stories which are printed in large, clear font to suit readers who have limited vision or who may struggle to maintain attention; and language to suit a lower reading level, but appropriate and respectful of adult readers. The book is designed to be used by people who have some experience in working with clients who have dementia, but who do not have specific training in bibliotherapy. They may be running a group session, working in a library or caring for a family member at home. There is a need for 'reading in the moment' - sharing a story, a piece of prose, a biography - for the simple pleasure of sharing a moment in time together.
London : Speechmark, 2014.
iv, 110 pages
9780863889813 (paperback)
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