Reading a book

Enjoying reading to help keep dementia at bay

We ask people about how they keep active and well, whether they have dementia or not. This issue, we hear about reading books, news and more.

William Payne, 61

I read fiction and non-fiction, literary and political magazines and newspapers daily. 

Reading has provided relaxation and the facility of taking my mind away from preoccupations which caused anxiety.

I set aside at least half an hour each day to read without being interrupted or allowing myself to be distracted.

Helen Mayne, 55 in North Tyneside

I love reading books by LJ Ross, set in Northumberland and the North East. I read on Kindle and I play audio books when driving around in my job. Reading is my way of relaxing after a busy or stressful day, and I read if I cannot sleep.

Helen Mayne


Sarah Williams, 56 in East Sussex

I wait for the authors I enjoy to bring out new books and buy them as soon as they do. I often buy books from a charity shop from other authors and then donate them back when I have read them.

Reading is a good way to distract you when you have negative thoughts running around your head, it is amazing how reading a book can have a positive impact on how you feel.

Anna Finlason, 67 in West Sussex

From when I was a child, I’ve always loved reading. I own a Kindle and have several books on it, but I also tend to go online to read the news and anything else that interests me.

I enjoy reading to my grandchildren to encourage a love of reading.

Reading is a pleasure and a way to lose oneself in the story. It opens up a world of knowledge and can be done anywhere at any time.

Anna Finlason


Patrick Hawkins, 79 in Kent

I keep myself fully occupied by reading good literature, news items and following sport, cricket, rugby union and football, also gardening!

This helps to keep my mind and body active and helps in my caring role as carer for my wife, who now has advanced stage Alzheimer’s.

I have studied dementia over the past nearly nine years through the excellent online courses provided by FutureLearn and literature provided by Alzheimer’s Society.

Philip Bettles, 67 in Northamptonshire

I just feel so happy reading, and contented. It reduces stress and expands the mind, keeps the old grey matter lubricated.

Philip Bettles


Martin Corrick, 75 in Hampshire with Alzheimer’s 

Reading, writing and teaching literature was a major aspect of my working life and remains important to me.

I have a sailing yacht and normally spend as much time as I can aboard her, but COVID-19 prevented this in the last year.

‘Ambler’ was my first choice as a place to read, write and draw, as well as enabling me to explore the coasts of the UK and nearby countries. COVID plus my dementia has severely restricted this way of life.

Martin Corrick


Stay well 

Your age and genes affect your risk of developing dementia, but you can’t change them. 

Things you can change include keeping your mind and body active, enjoying healthier food, not smoking, drinking less alcohol, staying in touch with people, and dealing with any health problems.

If you already have dementia, the same things can help you to stay healthy and well. 

NHS Live Well has health and wellbeing advice for everyone.

We need your help

We can’t keep our phone lines open or manage the increase in demand for our services without urgent financial support. Please donate today – with your help, we can show people living with dementia that they aren’t alone.

Donate now

Dementia together magazine: Aug/Sept 21

Dementia together magazine is for all Alzheimer’s Society supporters and anyone affected by the condition.
Subscribe now
Dementia together magazine is for all Alzheimer’s Society supporters and anyone affected by the condition.
Subscribe now

1 comment

Enjoyable to read how other people choose how and when they read to keep their mind active, thank you for including my comment, I have noted a few ideas from other readers that I will follow also from now on and am so glad to see that others read as much as I do.