Writers with Dementia: the Interplay among Reading, Writing, and Personhood

  • Ellen Bouchard Ryan
  • Hendrika Spykerman
  • Ann P. Anas

Abstract

People with dementia have eloquently described their experiences with written language. Most professional discussions of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias mention losses in reading and writing skills, while simultaneously commenting that maintaining these activities is good exercise for the brain. In this chapter, we consider how people with dementia make use of reading and writing activities to enhance memory, satisfaction, self-esteem, and interpersonal communication. Then we review empirical findings and lived experiences concerning declines in reading and writing abilities during the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias. Strategies for coping with these losses are featured next. We conclude by emphasizing the learning, courage, and creativity involved in maintaining one’s sense of self in dementia and the role of reading and writing in that process.

Keywords

Foam Dementia Weinstein Marquis Prose 

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Copyright information

© Ellen Bouchard Ryan, Hendrika Spykerman, and Ann P. Anas 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ellen Bouchard Ryan
  • Hendrika Spykerman
  • Ann P. Anas

There are no affiliations available

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