First of its kind Beatles book brings the band’s story to life for people with dementia

A new book about The Beatles, which has been designed specifically with, and for, people with dementia, has been released with the accompanying audio voiced by actor Bill Nighy.

Solving barriers people with dementia face

The founder of Cognitive Books, 49-year-old father-of-two and gerontologist, Matt Singleton, had the idea for a book series when he noticed his father, Brian, who was diagnosed with dementia in 2017, was losing his passion for reading as his cognitive abilities declined.

The first book in the series, looking back at…The Beatles, takes the reader on the legendary band’s journey. The books are unique as they solve many of the barriers people with dementia face when reading and can be enjoyed alone or with loved ones and carers.

They use familiar stories, rhyme and rhythm for recall and illustrations to bring the narrative and memories to life. The need to focus on the evolving plot of a story is less important because each page works as its own, individual story. What’s more, the audio version provides additional support for the reader and there are exercises based on Cognitive Stimulation Therapy.

Matt Singleton, Founder of Cognitive Books and author of looking back at…The Beatles said:

Dad became extremely forgetful in the months leading up to his diagnosis and in 2017 he was finally diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. I desperately searched for books that would be more suitable for him to enjoy. But I came up with nothing.

Investing in products to benefit people living with dementia

Cognitive Books is one of the groundbreaking products Alzheimer’s Society has invested in to directly benefit people living with dementia as part of the charity’s Accelerator Programme – designed to support people to boost new dementia products and innovations to market, delivering help and hope to people living with dementia.

Actor Bill Nighy who provides the voiceover for the audiobook said:

I hope these books can be a valuable addition to the treatment already in place and bring the same satisfaction that they might in normal circumstances. I salute those involved in this project.

By collaborating with Alzheimer’s Society, Matt was able to work alongside people with dementia in the development and testing phase which proved crucial, a process Matt describes as incredibly rewarding. 

Simon Lord, Head of Innovation at Alzheimer’s Society, said: 

The collaboration with Cognitive Books as part of Alzheimer’s Society Accelerator Programme demonstrates the positive impact there can be when expertise, dedication and a shared vision come together. 

Working alongside people with lived experience of dementia

Martina Davis, has posterior cortical atrophy (PCA), a rare form of dementia, and was part of the lived experience panel that tested and helped co-create the final version of the book. She said:

Colours are really important for someone with dementia. With the final version of the book the colours are popping and I’d want to grab it straight off the shelf.

Related posts

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.