Can she still read?

How some people living with dementia responded to the reading experience.


  • Gillian Margaret Helen Claridge IPU New Zealand
  • Sally Rimkeit University of Otago


reading, dementia, adaptation, lived experience


This presentation reports on a feasibility study designed to explore the reading experiences and preferences of people who find reading challenging because of cognitive impairment.  Participants were seven articulate volunteers claiming to enjoy reading, who had been clinically diagnosed with dementia.  Each was given three versions of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol: a children’s version, the original Dickens, and an adaptation in which the language was simplified to Flesch Kincaid grade level 2. It was hypothesized that the participants would prefer the adapted version.  The researchers conducted, recorded and transcribed two focus group discussions with the participants. The three main themes that emerged were the participants’ backgrounds in reading, ease of reading, and engagement with the texts. Tentative findings were that participants enjoyed the reading experience and discussion, appreciated some adaptations, but preferred the original language to that of the adapted version.






Extensive Reading World Congress Proceedings