Enhancing Quality of Life in Dementia Care with Susan Ostrowski

Image of Susan Ostrowski, creator of Reading2Connect.com

By Christy Byrne Yates, MS

Have you heard these common myths about reading to individuals with dementia?

  • Myth 1: People with dementia can’t understand or enjoy reading.
  • Myth 2: Reading is a solitary activity and won’t benefit socialization.
  • Myth 3: It’s too late to start reading to someone with dementia.

In this episode, Susan Ostrowski, speech language pathologist and reading specialist, debunks these myths and shares the truth about the impact of the Reading2Connect program for individuals with dementia. In her work, Susan has learned that people with dementia can continue to enjoy reading and often find it brings opportunities for socialization and leadership opportunities.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How the Reading2Connect® program can improve socialization and connection for individuals with dementia, leading to a better quality of life.
  • The importance of selecting meaningful and clinically appropriate reading materials for individuals with cognitive impairments and how it can enhance their engagement and comprehension.
  • How incorporating visual elements in reading materials can further enhance engagement and comprehension for individuals with dementia.
  • About the success of the Reading2Connect® program in receiving funding and interest from libraries and organizations and how it’s positively impacting the community.
  • Insights into empowering individuals with dementia through leadership roles in reading and discussion groups, allowing them to foster a sense of purpose and autonomy.

About Susan Ostrowski:

Susan Ostrowski is a highly experienced speech pathologist and the creator of the Reading2Connect® program. With a remedial reading and speech background, Susan has devoted her career to helping individuals with cognitive impairments. Recognizing the impact of dementia on reading abilities, Susan embarked on a mission to develop materials that cater specifically to this population’s needs. Through extensive field testing and collaboration with healthcare professionals, she has successfully created over 50 booklets that engage and resonate with individuals living with dementia. Susan’s program addresses cognitive challenges such as organizational thought, sustained focus, and working memory, offering a unique approach to reading and comprehension. Her work has gained recognition and support, including partnerships with organizations like AGE-u-cate® and collaborations with libraries. Susan’s dedication to improving the quality of life for individuals with dementia through reading is making a significant impact in the field, providing caregivers and individuals with valuable resources and opportunities for connection.

After the episode, view these videos to see the program in action:

 Bk Stand Falls logo.ChaseCity.mp4

Small Group Res-Directed.MOV

Rosa Parks 4.mp4

Connect with Susan:



About the Podcast

AlzAuthors is the global community of authors writing about Alzheimer’s and dementia from personal experience to light the way for others. Our podcast introduces you to our authors who share their stories and insights to provide knowledge, comfort, and support. Please subscribe so you don’t miss a word. If our authors’ stories move you, please leave a review. And don’t forget to share our podcast with family and friends on their own dementia journeys.

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