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Reading with Dementia


  • “Using audiobooks takes the stress away from changing pages and having to worry about the font size.” – Dr. Gary Schmidt
  • Audiobooks allow me to slow down the reading speed.
  • I like that I can adjust the intensity of the lighting.
  • I can set the device down and not have to worry about changing pages.
  • Hoopla allows you to read books for free.
Reading audiobooks helps with dementia

Books and Magazines

  • “I prefer reading short stories or magazines because they are easier to follow along. Once I’m done, I will have a conversation about it.” Steven Barbieri
  • Large font is important.
  • Larger line spacing makes it easier to follow along.
  • It is important for print to be black with white pages so words are easily read.
  • Reading flash fiction storylines are easy for me to follow.
  • Re-reading books can be enjoyable and easier to finish.
  • I use a highlighter to focus on important words.
  • I use a ruler to track the line I’m reading.
  • Find a simple young adult novel in the genre you prefer. I find the storylines easier to follow.



  • “I have to have adequate light. So if I’m reading from bed, I have to have a headlamp so the light is shining directly on what I’m reading.” – Libby Ford
  • I’ve found optimal lighting is important.
  • I have to have it very quiet while reading with no distractions.
  • Wearing headphones helps to drown out other noise.
  • I find a private space to read.


  • “Additional support with filling out forms is important to make sure all information is going in the correct spots.” - Mona Moore
  • Forms that indicate if the text should be entered above or below the line are the easiest ones for me to complete.
  • I have set up my computer with a voice-to-text program that I use to fill out forms.


  • “Large font is important for me while reading my songbook so I can continue to do what I love.” – Mark Roberts
  • My choir director is great. She copies the music in large print for me. Then I highlight important parts of the music.

Tips for Recall

  • “It is helpful when stories have a synopsis at the beginning of each chapter to help with remembering characters and main events.” – Mel Sebastiani
  • Writing down the most important parts of what I’ve read helps with recall.
  • I use Goodreads to review a synopsis of stories when I need help with recall.
  • Cliff notes help me with recall.
  • Writing down the characters helps me follow a longer book.
  • I find it helpful to talk to someone about what I’ve just read. It helps me remember.
  • Reading out loud helps me with recall.

Books Written by People Living with Dementia

Click here to view a list of books written by persons living with dementia.


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