The pilot of our Reading is Caring programme first launched in 2019. Reading is Caring is a programme supporting people living with dementia and those who care for them (professional carers and family care partners) through shared reading workshops.
This independent evaluation of the 2022/23 programme examines Reading is Caring's impact on people living with dementia and those who care for them, reflects on delivery and discusses possible future developments.
Read the report
Reading is Caring has resulted in positive (and often striking) benefits for people living with dementia across:
- Quality of life
- Sense of agency
- Mental health and wellbeing
Family care partners were overwhelmingly positive about their experience with Reading is Caring, reporting that the programme provides:
- A constructive way for family care partners to continue enjoying activities with their loved one
- A renewed sense of connection with their loved one
- Improvements to their own mood, feeling less stressed and more relaxed, and feeling helpful rather than helpless
The programme developed new skills and knowledge for family care partners across four core areas:
- General understanding of dementia, filling a gap in knowledge of dementia and its implications at pre-diagnosis and diagnosis stages for some participants
- How to 'do' shared reading as a technique (and the impact it can have on people living with dementia)
- Specific knowledge on reading materials and where to find them
- Ideas for putting together Life Story Book Boxes
Professional care partners also reported high levels of satisfaction with Reading is Caring, reporting benefits such as:
- New skills and knowledge around dementia, person-centred care, and shared reading
- A way to spend quality time with the people they care for beyond physical caring needs
- Personal enjoyment
The findings indicate that the critical success factors across all three groups include:
- The tailored, personalised design of the programme
- Highly skilled and empathetic trainers who provide reassurance, encouragement, the chance to practice shared reading and 'permission' for care partners to adapt the programme to best suit their needs
Our 2022/23 evaluation executive summary was converted from an accessible word document to protect the content of our external examiner. If you require the information in an alternative format, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.