Reads books with fewer words

  All Alzheimer's Symptoms

When it happens Beginning to middle of mild dementia

Why it happens Concentration and reading comprehension both begin to decline due to brain changes. Avid readers may subconsciously choose simpler material as denser reading (books, newspapers) becomes more frustrating, even though the habit of reading is still strong and pleasurable. The person may start over at the first page every time the book is picked up.

What you can do

  • Seek out shorter books or books with more spacing between lines and therefore fewer words per page.

  • Offer magazines, which some readers begin to prefer over books.

  • Don't comment on the fact that the same pages are being read over and over; to the reader with dementia, they seem like fresh material each time.

  • Consider renting, buying, or downloading audio books for someone who loves to read; eventually he or she may not be able to follow the story, but CDs can be soothing to listen to anyway, especially favorite old classics. (Notice whether they give pleasure or frustrate.)