Can anyone suggest good books for people with dementia?

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Mom was always a reader. She loves good fiction and to a lesser extent nonfiction. But now, in mid-stage dementia, she's quickly losing her #1 form of entertainment. Her memory care facility takes her over to the assisted living side occasionally and lets her take books from their library back to MC, but given her inability to retain much, I wonder how much pleasure beyond "in the moment" she gets from these reads. She likes social and political commentary, history, and fiction about family interactions, etc., but I've noticed she isn't reading as much as she used to. I doubt e-books would be very useful because her audio processing is compromised. She's more visually oriented. Some of her most recent reads have been Bill O'Reilly and in fiction, "The Help," but the poor soul can't tell you a thing about them, or in fact if she'd ever read those books before.

She watches television some, but can't seem to follow a story line and gets bored quickly. She refuses to participate in much of the organized social activities there, thinking them "beneath her"; yet, mind you, she can't figure out how to play Bingo. MC offers a world news presentation and discussion almost daily. I'd think she'd love that, but she refuses to participate. Sigh. I've suggested knitting or crocheting (which she used to do, but she refuses likely because of arthritis and deficits in hand-eye coordination. I've brought her crossword and Oduko books, but she doesn't use them. All she really wants is to be taken places away from MC or go for walks that ultimately disintegrate into complaining, criticizing, abuse; just overall negativity, so I try to avoid personal engagement as much as I can. It's sad. I know it will only get worse. I've tried bringing over old photograph albums to resurrect pleasant memories, but I don't know if she looks at them or not. And it's dangerous for me to sit with her and talk about the photos. I've been emotionally traumatized nonstop by Mom since childhood and face-to-face contact must be minimized. I've already detached to a great degree, but despite this, I still wish there was some way to alleviate Mom's boredom. Some way that doesn't directly involve me.

My sister is able to get her out of MC more often than I can. Sister doesn't seem to be on the receiving end of so much abuse; however, even Sis gets sick of the negativity.

Does anyone have any suggestions, especially in the reading department? It's weird, because Mom can spot a book targeted to juveniles a mile away. Can anyone suggest a series of books or nonfiction that entertains adults with diminished intellectual capacity without "talking down" to them? Don't know if I'm explaining this very well. I just wish I could find something for the present to help Mom self-entertain. And obviously, in time, her needs will change as she falls down the black hole of dementia.

All of this is just too sad for words.

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I would take dad to the library and we would get books with lots of pictures.. like about the ocean, or trains, or state parks. Not childrens books, but more like coffee table style books. He loved to look at them, and the writing was short blurbs about the pictures. And he loved to pick them out. Plots were beyond him, but not the pictures and short articles.
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You wrote: "I've been emotionally traumatized nonstop by Mom since childhood and face-to-face contact must be minimized. I've already detached to a great degree, but despite this, I still wish there was some way to alleviate Mom's boredom. Some way that doesn't directly involve me." I want to assure you that this is totally understandable and perfectly justified. Detachment is the appropriate response, I think.

It is admirable that you still wish your mother well and would like to relieve her boredom. I think the fact is that self-entertainment is not at all common for dementia patients beyond the earliest stage. This is Not Your Fault and has nothing to do with your relationship with your mother. If your sister can spend more time with Mother, good, be glad that is happening. But don't expect that of yourself.

Think about "passive entertainment." We placed a garden crook outside Mom's nh window, and hung a birdfeeder and a pot of plastic flowers. I know she at least occasionally looked at them because she'd say, "I wonder who is watering those flowers? They certainly are doing well!" or she'd point out when the feeder was nearing empty. A coocoo clock might be amusing. One sister changed a seasonal wreath on mother's door at least once a month. I was in charge of putting cling-on decorations on her windows, and changing them with the seasons. My mother had a doll and loved seeing it dressed up. I'd change the doll's clothes while visiting, and then the doll was on display for a few weeks until the next change. She did not actually play with the doll, but she passively enjoyed it. We placed several plants on mother's windowsill. She could no longer take care of them, but seemed to enjoy having them there.

One thing that Mom would do on her own was look at magazines. The staff knew that she should have a stack of magazines at all times. She especially liked those with lots of food pictures and recipes, although it had been decades since she'd cooked.
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My mom read Jane Fonda's biography but don't think she got beyond the first chapter, maybe the first few pages. But she worked on that book for at least a couple of years. She did not retain anything, I asked no questions about it because she wouldn't even know she was reading it. So what! She enjoyed handling the book and "reading" it and it kept her busy and entertained. She would occasionally say something about what she had just read, she would never have been able to repeat it. Mom was only in the moment and I had to go with her there.
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I'm sorry to hear about you and your mother's troubles Amber. I went through something similar with my LO. She was once an avid reader too. I'm no expert, but, I noticed that as the condition progresses, the ability to process and retain just seems to take the enjoyment out of reading. The same goes for watching tv. You can try, but, I'm not sure of any remedy for this. It's not so much the content, but, the process of interpreting and retaining that is lost. I'd just make sure things are available, if she chooses to try.

I spent a lot of time, and still do, to a certain extent, trying to think of ways to entertain, amuse, interest and keep my LO busy, in MC, but, the problem is that we may be thinking of what her former mind liked and not what she may be capable of now. I'd work with the staff at the facility to get their feedback. Music seems to be something that most dementia patients enjoy, even as they progress to severe levels.

I would also read a lot about a dementia patient's ability to self entertain. It's not very likely this will happen. Loss of initiation seems to be one thing that really prevents them from picking up a book, turning on the tv or engaging in a puzzle on their own. Even written reminders often don't trigger them to act.

There are some activity boards found online on some of the dementia websites that are designed to keep their hands busy. I wouldn't worry about her thinking the item is not to her standards. Her standards have changed.  But, even these type of devices, will likely require suggestion and/or supervision. 

What I found the most helpful are activities that are lead by the MC staff and are directly supervised. Even then, she would quickly lose interest.
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This sounds a lot like my Mom, although I believe she still has more of the intellectual capacity. She used to read a lot - good fiction and non-fiction both. She doesn't seem to be reading books these days. She will have them around but I don't think she is reading them.

She also is not participating in the activities in AL, and so is not making any connections there. It is very frustrating.

She has always read magazines, so we make sure she is still getting those, and she enjoys them. And the daily newspaper.

Also a couple years ago (before dementia) we both read, Paris Letters by Janice MacLeod. It is a true story about a woman who moves to Paris, and then starts supporting herself by writing letters to people with watercolor illustrations she makes. You can buy a subscription to the letters on Etsy (search for Janice MacLeod on Etsy). Mom enjoys getting the letters, which are charming and beautifully illustrated. It is something she can look forward to in her mailbox and even if she didn't read them she could look at the pretty picture. So that is an idea.

Good luck!!
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Good idea. Short stories as opposed to novels. Amazon books has almost everything. I'll take a look there; thanks!
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Perhaps you could try an online search for adult short stories in her favourite genres, actually laying your hands on physical copies of them them could be difficult though.
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