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Fundació ACE recommends maintaining the habit of reading in Alzheimer's patients


  • The reading capacity is one of the processes that can be maintained until the advanced stages of the disease but the patients lose the interest to read.
  • The Cognitive Stimulation Workshops of the Center and the ACE Foundation Day Hospital work the language through reading.

Given the proximity of the celebration of the World Book Day and the  feast of the book and the rose in Catalonia, the experts of Fundació ACE - Barcelona Alzheimer's Treatment & Research Center take the opportunity to remind family members of Alzheimer's patients about the importance of promoting the habit of reading in patients to help maintain their cognitive activity.

Although the reading capacity is one of the processes that the patients lose later, they stop reading because they can not keep the attention in the story or the story before them. Many of them abandon books because they lose the thread of what they are reading and get tired.

For this reason, Fundació ACE experts recommend family members and caregivers to facilitate this activity: by accompanying them in reading, by bringing them together with a book or a newspaper or even by writing them a short text with legible font size. The Integral Psychostimulation Program (PPI), which has been applied for 25 years in the Center and in the Fundació ACE Daycare Hospital, stimulates the learning capacity of patients with group workshops to activate or maintain their physical, intellectual capacities And social.

Attendees participate in psychostimulation workshops to train higher mental functions and work the language through reading. For example, patients who are unable to communicate with speech can read because it is a mechanical practice and react positively to the stimulus of their own voice. Also, those who are in advanced stages of the disease can remember aspects of their life, through meaningful reading.

Adequate Reading for Alzheimer's Patients América Morera, deputy director of the Fundació ACE's Daycare Unit, encourages family members and caregivers to encourage and preserve the habit of reading in the sick. For this reason, Morera recommends "encourage them with materials chosen and adapted according to the state of the disease" and gives the following guidelines:

Mild cases can read short stories, stories or news in the press. Patients in moderate states can read poetry, fables or short stories with few characters. Patients in severe stages of the disease can read words or phrases, clearly written. They react very positively to such traditional, sayings, and meaningful reading, meaning texts with meaning in their personal experience. Phrases such as "my son Antoni has a restaurant" makes them recognize and remember a reality.

Fundació ACE, 25 years fighting Alzheimer's The Alzheimer Educational Center (ACE) was founded by the neurologist Mercè Boada, Cruz de San Jorge 2016, and the psychologist Lluís Tárraga with the hypothesis that it was possible to reeducate people suffering from the disease to maintain their abilities as long as possible. After 25 years, 1,600 people have been treated in the Daycare Center with the Integral Psycho-Stimulation Program (L. Tàrraga, 1998), the method that, from its beginnings, has been applied by Fundació ACE professionals.

The model of care of the Foundation is endorsed by the most prestigious scientific institutions and has been published in recognized journals of the sector as the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. This program demonstrates that cognitive impairment goes through several phases in which non-pharmacological intervention is possible based on psychostimulation and memory exercises.

Fundació ACE in its fight against the disease has three more units to treat people suffering from Alzheimer's or other dementias. Among them, the Research Unit, which has participated in the discovery of 12 genes related to the disease; The Diagnostic Unit, which in 20 years has diagnosed more than 20,000 people; And the Daycare Hospital, a specific center to treat people with an early-onset Alzheimer's manifestation, ie people under 65 years.  

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