This afternoon, The Reader Organisation is hosting a showcase event, ‘Looking Backwards, Moving Forwards’, at the University of Stirling. The presentation will explore our pioneering Get Into Reading Pilot Project for Older People with Dementia and Carers in Scotland, discuss the latest research, and provide an opportunity for discussion about further developments.
Evaluation of this successful pilot, as well as the findings in the latest CRILS research report, ‘A Literature-Based Intervention for Older People Living with Dementia’, have demonstrated that reading aloud significantly reduces the severity of dementia symptoms. Residents can identify with characters and situations and in some instances, have been able to recite poems word-perfect that they learned at school.
As a result of this positive feedback, Hill View, Golfhill and Millview care homes in Glasgow have set up new Get Into Reading groups as part of a joint project between The Reader Organisation and Bupa Care Homes. The initiative will run until October 2012 and aims to bring the proven health benefits of reading aloud in groups to residents with dementia. The groups are led by one of our Project Workers, who reads short stories, poems, and book extracts, and prompts group discussions. We will also be training the care homes’ staff so the groups can continue after October and involve residents’ families and friends.
Siobhan Drane, community and partnership manager for Bupa Care Homes, said:
“We know that reading-aloud has a positive benefit for people living with dementia. It will be great to see our residents and their families getting involved and enjoying reading together.”
Jane Davis, TRO founder and director, said:
“This pilot with Bupa is a great opportunity to spread the benefits of Get Into Reading and bring shared reading into the heart of care home culture. We’ve been running groups in care homes since 2006 and our evaluations have told us that the groups improve mood, decrease agitation and increase levels of concentration and social interaction for residents.”