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Thread: Reading & Dementia

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    Reading & Dementia

    In another thread I wrote, "I don't know why this is, but it's impossible to see a written word anywhere and not read it." And it made me wonder about people with Alzheimer's.

    It's well known that music remains intact in many people well past the time they can speak or recognize familiar faces. Glen Campbell, and an aunt of mine, could sing fairly well when they could otherwise not speak. And these days I see it often when I play at "memory care" residences.

    Is reading the same? Do patients comprehend writing past the time they can speak?

    If that's the case, should close relatives wear name tags as an aid, rather than despair the facial recognition isn't working?

    Just wondering. And betting that someone here knows more than I about it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newman View Post
    In another thread I wrote, "I don't know why this is, but it's impossible to see a written word anywhere and not read it." And it made me wonder about people with Alzheimer's.

    It's well known that music remains intact in many people well past the time they can speak or recognize familiar faces. Glen Campbell, and an aunt of mine, could sing fairly well when they could otherwise not speak. And these days I see it often when I play at "memory care" residences.

    Is reading the same? Do patients comprehend writing past the time they can speak?

    If that's the case, should close relatives wear name tags as an aid, rather than despair the facial recognition isn't working?

    Just wondering. And betting that someone here knows more than I about it.
    I don't know, but I'd guess not. The reason music and lyrics remain available is because they're stored in a different brain sector than language. If the language center goes, I suspect all facets of language go. I'm not all that informed about Alzheimer's, but post-stroke language loss seems to affect all aspects of language, spoken and written.

    Maybe Frostbit can help us out here.
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    That's an interesting question.

    While I've seen a lot of visual "clues" in rooms and facilities that cater to memory care, I can't recall seeing much of anything with writing aside from the ubiquitous whiteboards.

    While some patients enjoy being read to, I don't think they can process the decoding that happens with reading. I knew of one guy who appeared to be studying his Bible quite a lot but he wasn't reading it really. He was comforted by touching the pages and carrying it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newman View Post

    If that's the case, should close relatives wear name tags as an aid, rather than despair the facial recognition isn't working?

    Just wondering. And betting that someone here knows more than I about it.
    Maybe a good idea. Even though the patient still may not remember for long.

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