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Keeping up with news and current affairs if you have dementia

For some people, staying current with news is an important way to feel in touch. Read ideas that can support people with dementia to stay up to date.

Keeping up with the news can help us feel connected to what’s happening in the world. How a person with dementia stays up to date may need to change over time. 

Read, watch, listen 

For someone finding it difficult to read newspapers or magazines, an RNIB Newsagent subscription could provide audio versions by post or online. 

Find your nearest local talking newspaper through the Talking News Federation or listen using the free Talking Newspaper app. 

On news websites, use your device or app to make text easier to read or to read articles aloud – see My Computer My Way to find out more. Sites also often include video and audio alongside written articles.

Having a friend or family member read articles out to you may be enjoyable. Smart devices and virtual assistants, such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant or Apple Siri, can also respond to someone asking them to read or stream the news. 

If a regular television or radio update is missed, catch up with news segments or full programmes through on-demand services. 

News and views 

Part of the pleasure of following the news can be discussing it with others. Be mindful of sensitive topics – news can be distressing or upsetting, especially if it recalls painful memories or broader anxieties.

If strong feelings are involved, conversations may become heated. Being prepared to let points go or move onto another subject could help discussions feel safe and comfortable. 

A person who finds it difficult to keep up with current affairs might prefer reminiscing.

The BBC Reminiscence Archive offers images, audio and video by theme or decade. Younger family members may also enjoy helping to find old news stories and photos online. 

What you said...

Tot, on Talking Point, says,

‘Our mother was no longer able to follow the story of talking books, but she did enjoy the local talking newspaper. She also had an RNIB player, which she just about managed to use. We bought her a radio where she only had one button to press for on and off – we pre-set volume and tuning.’ 

Bunpoots, says, 

‘Dad had always been the sort of person who was informed and interested in everything, but his world narrowed with dementia. The last “news” he was interested in was scientific light reading, eg the BBC Science Focus magazine which I had to read articles from as he struggled with reading.’ 

LynneMcV says, 

‘I created a weekly news bulletin for my husband, giving a simple round-up of the news with roughly two or three sentences per item. Sometimes this led to longer discussions but generally he liked to look through the list as a reminder of what was happening.’ 

Dementia together magazine

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