What news should I read to a group of elderlies with alzheimer's? - AgingCare.com

What news should I read to a group of elderlies with alzheimer's?

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I'm volunteering in an elderly centre and I will be reading news to them. Most of them has alzheimer's and I don't know how and what I should read to them.

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I would read books that permit those residents to "bring back some of their memories"--it is called reminiscence. To me, the news paper is filled with uninportant information period. Why not make the time beneficial to all by reading books, poems, stories or nursey rhymes that might just "spark" so some signs of bringing back memories. This kind of exercise just might be the trick to get some smiles on a couple of faces, a tear in an eye, or even some kind of dialogue. What a fun day that would be for everyone!!! I would forget the news for now and try to do something that really has meaning to someone who no longer can remember. Just one of those special times will put a BIG SMILE on your face too and then you will have one of the best days of your life to remember. Thanks for spending time with those who need some outside stimulation--you are special.
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My husband has dementia, though not Alzheimer's. He no longer reads, but loves the news on TV. I'm not sure how much of it he understands since complex info confuses him. So I'd suggest to keep it simple and maybe stay away from traumatic news events. You might also talk to the activity coordinator at the facility and ask what works best.
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Tooyoung, I agree that it's a good idea to consult with the activity coordinator first. I am a volunteer for EIES, an organization that delivers a radio broadcast of the news for the blind. I had no idea what news to pick out to read, so they told me to try and pick out something other than the "top world news" which other major newspapers focus on, as somebody else would already be recording much of that and no point in duplicating. I would suggest you pick out/cut out your news topics about an hour before you have to read. Thank you so much for doing this for our elders!
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I read everything to mine. It's funny how later you think they didn't pay attention but they do and will later retell you the story with the details changed. I once read about a 15 year old boy that we knew accidentally killing his 14 year old sister with his dad's gun he had taken out without permission. We knew the family well and grieved with them. My grandma kept telling the story to visitors to the house and the ages of the kids kept changing! At first , they were 15 and 14 but they gradually got younger until they were 5 months and 4 months old!!!
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My husband always liked books on scientific subjects or things related to architecture (he worked as an architect). In spite of his dementia, those things still interest him, although he can't read for more than 20 minutes at a time and often doesn't remember what he read later. He particularly enjoys reading National Geographic magazines, old ones as well as current ones, although he looks at the pictures more than he reads these days.
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Correction on last 2 sentences: I meant to say "Phillyp, I would suggest.... and Thank you so much Phillyp ...."
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Phillyp, so wonderful that you have volunteered to do this! When I visit my mother in another state at her NH I spend the day there with her. They are long days that mom frequently naps through so I have started helping the activities Director. I often read to residents or play games like bingo. Like you I felt that the drivel of life in the papers was pretty distressing and try edit the icky depressing stuff out and focus on the good stuff. The Chicken Soup books are also great uplifting stories that are short enough to read to a napping on and off group. I bring magazines with bright pictures to pass around as well. Reading there never fails to bring in several residents to hear what is going on . There is a lovely magazine called Reminise with lovely pics and stories from way back when that is also a favorite.
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Play radio broadcasts from WWII, especially FDR's fireside chats.
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First I have to ask, "Do you really have to read NEWS?" I am sure they are looking for something to stimulate the patients minds but news can be upsetting. I have noticed with Mom and Dad previously that they become more emotional as they age and their health declines. My Dad would cry at National Geographic Documentaries where a lion was chasing a gazelle....he did not want to see anything get hurt.

If you have to read NEWS then keep it light, like the birth of the new Prince George in England, but not about 50 people being shot somewhere. You may have to feel this out and see what works and what doesn't.

Also reading old books or poems or listening to music from bygone eras might be best. They do love music!

Good luck and thank you for giving your time!
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Thank you everyone for the praise and support. I have told them the news of the birth of Baby King George and they had a smile on their face and was also talkative. They remembered Queen Elizabeth and said that she is still beautiful like the time they saw her on the news when they were younger.
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