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Reading for Life: The Role of Literature in Dementia Care

Written by Lisa Spurgin, 7th October 2013

dementiaReading for Life: The Role of Literature in Dementia Care
Thursday 10th October, 12.30-1.30pm
Seminar Room 1, The Sherrington Building, University of Liverpool

There are currently over 800,000 people in the UK living with dementia, with an estimated 670,000 family and friends acting as primary carers. As part of ‘Mental Wealth Fest’ and on World Mental Health Day 2013, the Centre for Research into Reading, Information and Linguistic Systems (CRILS) at the University of Liverpool and The Reader Organisation present a panel of academics, practitioners and public health directors to discuss the power of literary reading in improving quality of life for older people and their carers.

The panel includes: Helen Wilson (The Reader Organisation), Dr Josie Billington (Centre for Research into Reading, Information and Linguistic Systems) and Fiona Johnstone (Director of Public Health, Policy and Performance, Wirral Council), who will all be speaking about the effects of literature on people living with dementia, with attention paid to impacts that have arisen from shared reading projects with older people.

The Reader Organisation will also be at the event with more information about how the shared, read-aloud model works in settings for older people and also about what we do more widely in other areas.

BUPA care home 3We're working with CRILS as a research partner to help validate the role of reading in health and wellbeing, using literature to model creative thinking about human existence and to evidence the impact of our shared reading projects. Last year they published the evaluation report 'A Literature-Based Intervention for Older People Living with Dementia' which examined the ways in which the Get Into Reading model produces a significant reduction in dementia symptoms, benefitting the quality of life of older people within care homes, as well as staff and carers. You can download and read the full report on the Research page of our website. Professor Phil Davis of CRILS also chaired a seminar on Living Well With Dementia at The Reader Organisation's National Conference 2013, which you can read more about here on our blog.

World Mental Health Day is celebrated on 10th October each year, and this year's theme is 'Mental Health and Older Adults'. You can find out more about how the shared reading of great literature can help benefit health and wellbeing amongst older people, as well as other age groups, on our website.

This event is free to attend, though booking is advised. To book your place, email Claire Sanders on or call 0151 795 5975.

1 thought on “Reading for Life: The Role of Literature in Dementia Care

[…] took part in a number of events for World Mental Health Day, including the ‘Read For Life’ event at University of Liverpool, shared reading about dignity for Global Dignity Day and had lots of Half-Term Hijinks at […]

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