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Marlena Books is a Canadian-based company that creates dementia-friendly books to empower persons living with Alzheimer’s and dementia to continue reading. At Marlena Books, they believe individuals with dementia should have access to age-appropriate, dignifying, adaptive recreation and to continue reading beyond dementia.
Marlena Books was inspired by founder Rachel Thompson’s grandmother, who lived with dementia and enjoyed reading throughout her life. As her dementia progressed, Rachel noticed that her grandmother read less and less, until she no longer continued with one of her favorite hobbies. Her grandmother could read large text, such as newspaper headlines, but struggled with reading books and articles that were available to her.
This was when Rachel realized that it wasn’t that her grandmother could no longer read, but what was given to her did not meet her new needs. So Rachel went online to purchase some dementia-friendly books for her grandmother and realized there were no available options.
After realizing such a large gap existed, Rachel decided to create dignifying, mature, short-stories for persons living with dementia to read. Marlena Books incorporate dementia-friendly features, such as page turning prompts, Canadian National Institute for the Blind’s approved font, and a research-based layout.