Reading, Virtually-Speaking: Older Adults in Long-term Care is a collaborative research project with the Montreal literacy organization RECLAIM. In this project, we ask what types of literature do older adults living in long-term care facilities like to read. For this pilot project, the ACT Lab and RECLAIM have co-developed a set of interview questions to survey older adults living in long-term care facilities around Montreal about these issues. With that in mind, the project’s goal is to use the collected data on older adults’ reading preferences so that RECLAIM can produce digital-audio versions of reading materials for seniors living in long-term care facilities. This initiative is one of RECLAIM’s suite of projects under the title “Read to me… virtually”, which aims to furnish the reading materials available to older adults in a format and way that are appropriate and contribute to enhancing the quality of life for this population.
RECLAIM works with people who face challenges with reading, and: a major part of their clientele are older adults. RECLAIM has noted that while there is much passion for reading amongst their clientele, changes in eyesight, mobility, limited access to English-language reading materials, digital tools, and other barriers means that many older English speaking adults living in long-term care facilities cannot read as much as they would like, what they would like, or when they would like. Further, hearing a voice read to you is one way to counter social and cultural isolation.