Dementia Makes Concentration and Comprehension Tasks Difficult

Leah Health Guide
  • Read a book.  Sounds simple, doesn't it?  Not to a dementia sufferer...  Even in the early stage, it is difficult for me to remember what I have read once I put the book down or my attention is drawn away from it.  With medication, I am better able to focus as I read.  Medication allows me to stay on for longer periods of time.  Still I have the problem of what do I do?

    I take notes...brief words describing the topic or main idea or important details...  I write these notes anywhere on the page I can.  (Don't try this with a library book!)  At the end of the chapter, I write a brief summary (a sentence, maybe) telling how it ends.  The next time I pick up the book, I skim through the notes to catch up; then I continue on to the next chapter.  There are even times when I cross reference something so that I can refresh my memory later.

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    Now, there are some folk out there who might think that this is all too much work.  I don't see it that way.  Granted, it takes longer.  However, one of my passions has always been reading.  During the 34 years I taught, I rarely had the free time to read casually.  Since my retirement three years ago, I have tried to read all that I could to make up for it.  I got very frustrated when I began to lose the ability to sit and read and to remember what I read.  Now, with my diagnosis, I understand the reason for my difficulties.  Now, with medication, I am beginning to get back to reading for fun--even if it means taking notes as I do it.

Published On: July 29, 2007