Reading aloud to groups of people with dementia has been found to stimulate memories and imagination – and a new anthology, compiled by Liverpool-based The Reader charity, provides inspiration.

Working in care homes can be challenging, says Katie Clark who runs Reader groups with dementia patients. “There was one woman called Flo who was very frustrated and aggressive. She used to sit in the lounge all scrunched up and tense, leaning forward in her chair, ready to throw her juice at the next passerby. The staff said, ‘Don’t sit with her – she’ll probably try to hit you.’

“So I sat down a safe distance away and said, ‘I’m just going to try reading this poem. If you don’t like it that’s fine, but let’s see what you think of it.’

“And I read the poem through. She relaxed back in her chair, went very quiet, and at the end she said, straight away, ‘read another’.” (Guardian) >>>