Reading aloud: both children and people with dementia benefit from it

Reading aloud: both children and people with dementia benefit from it
Reading aloud: both children and people with dementia benefit from it

Reading is valuable both at the beginning and at the end of life. In children it increases their vocabulary and text comprehension and in dementia it helps to make contact and recall memories. Reading aloud is also a pleasant way of being together. We have listed some tips that can come in handy when reading aloud.

Reading to children

For children it works well to choose a book with a subject that concerns them at that moment. For example, if you have a new pet or family member, choose that. For slightly older children, it appeals to read the characters in different voices. With toddlers and younger, it is more important to read slowly and clearly and to look at them regularly. They then get a good idea of ​​who is saying what. You stimulate a child by involving him in the story and asking what he thinks will happen next. They often enjoy it when you read the same story several times. They are getting more and more attention to detail.

Reading to someone with dementia

When you read to a loved one with dementia, the choice of the type of book is important. The Alzheimer Nederland platform indicates that it is best to opt for short stories, preferably with pictures. It is most useful when there are few different characters and the story is chronological. In addition, make sure that the story does not have too long sentences. For example, choose a book about birds. In that case, you can show accompanying photos or even show the song of the bird species. It is also an idea to choose a book from the person’s childhood.

Read also: Kees van Kooten: “Using the imagination is the most important thing when reading aloud”

Podcasts with beautiful stories

Do you find it difficult to read or do you want to enjoy a beautiful story that is read to you? Then listen to the Podcast – The National Reading Lunch. On the occasion of the National Reading Lunch during National Elderly Day on October 7, 2022, Bart Chabot, Marion Bloem and Kader Abdolah wrote and read a special Reading Lunch Story. Those stories can be listened to as a podcast on the website of MAX Today:

The National Reading Days 2023

The National Reading Days will be organized for the 20th time in 2023, from Wednesday 25 January to 4 February. Princess Laurentien will kick off the campaign in Rotterdam on Wednesday morning, 25 January, with the National Reading Breakfast. She reads from the book Maximiliaan Modderman is having a party. The book was voted Picture Book of the Year by a committee of librarians, booksellers and teachers. The book is written by Joukje Akveld and illustrated by Jan Jutte and is about Maximiliaan Modderman, who is alone at home and organizes a party for his toy animals.

(Source:, ANP, Photo: Shutterstock)

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