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Wofford, Hub City, Alzheimer’s Association to create ‘Living Words’ program

Living Words logo
2009-06-12

Patients, caregivers sought to participate in creative writing program

SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Writing creatively can have a therapeutic effect on Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers, according to memory studies. These studies suggest that trying new forms of mental activity in general, and the telling – or writing – of stories in particular, can help both the patients and those who care for them.


Wofford College student Lauren Holland is collaborating this summer with Dr. Kara Bopp, a psychology professor, and Jeremy Jones, a writing instructor, to make the “Living Words” program come alive around the country through the June 15 launch of the Living Words” Web site (www.LivingWordsProgram.com) and through a 10-week program designed to assist Alzheimer’s patients and caregivers in using this technique.

The project is a collaboration of Wofford’s department of psychology, the South Carolina Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association and the Hub City Writers Project in Spartanburg.

Individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia and a friend or family member are invited to participate in the workshops, to be held at 10 a.m. every Thursday beginning June 25. Each workshop will last an hour and will be conducted by local writers. They will be held in the Success Initiative Room of the Snyder House on Wofford’s campus. Participants will be provided with everything they need – pencil, paper and even breakfast.

Dates are: June 25, July 2, July 9, July 16, July 23, July 30, Aug. 6, Aug. 13, Aug. 20 and Aug. 27.

“Our mission is simple: provide free creative writing classes and enrich lives,” Holland says. “The purpose of the Web site is to provide others with the tools to implement the same Living Words program in their own facility or support group that we will provide in the workshops.” She, Bopp and Jones will update the blog on the Web site five times a week as well as run the 10-week writing program, where Bopp also will gather preliminary research on the therapeutic gains of creative writing.

For information, contact Lauren Holland at livingwordsprogram@wofford.edu or 864-597-4375.