Monday, April 26, 2010

Reading Really Is Fundamental

The New York Times Blog "The New Old Age" last week had a great post about the importance of reading by and to Alzheimer's patients.

According to the piece by Milt Freudenheim, "Researchers have found in a number of studies that reading can improve a patient’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."

For caregivers, books can provide a great outlet for some quality time with a loved one, especially those in the advanced stages of the disease. Experts say it's important to read material that is personally relevant. There also are books written expressly for caregivers to read aloud, which are mentioned in the post. There also are some great suggestions in the comments section, such as Dr. Seuss's I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew because it relates to troubles in life.

(By the way, Dr. Seuss's real-life widow, Audrey Geisel, is a major supporter of the George G. Glenner Alzheimer's Family Centers programs!)