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5 Books for Seniors with Dementia

Senior man reading book at home

For some people, the ability to read books may not seem like such a terrible skill to lose. However, for book lovers with dementia, the inability to read robs them of a favorite hobby and a healthy escape from reality. With that said, our memory care team at Bristol Glen has put together a list of books for seniors with varying stages of dementia.

What to look for in books for seniors with dementia

Reading to or with your loved one is a wonderful bonding activity that sparks the imagination, keeps the mind active, and may even help preserve cognitive function. While we’ve suggested several books for dementia residents below, you can always look for a few to add to your library at home. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Pictures – Choose books with plenty of pictures (although nothing too busy and chaotic), for your loved one to look at. Our visual senses are much more stimulated by colors and images than text, so pictures and illustrations make the content more engaging and interesting for them.
  • Simple stories –Stories should be simple sentences and concepts (depending on how advanced your loved one’s dementia is), but not boring. Look for stories that connect with the events of their lives, especially their childhood or early life, as this is the period of their life where memories are the strongest.
  • Audiobooks –Audiobooks can be both soothing and interesting for seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Look for content that resonates with their lives and that is easy to consume, or books read by a favorite author.
  • Interaction –Books that have interactive elements can be more engaging for people with advanced dementia. Keep an eye out for coloring books, basic puzzles, and multi-sensory engagement to keep your loved one involved and entertained.

#1 – The Heart Garden by Karla Kale

This is one of the Marlena Books series, where different authors write short stories that are specially formatted for individuals with Alzheimer’s or dementia. In this story, a mother and her son explore the wonders of their spring garden. It’s all about nurturing the special bond between mother and child.

#2 – A Love That Waited by Brandon Johnson

Another great story from the Marlena Book series is A Love That Waited, which focuses on a couple separated by war. While Henry serves in the armed forces, Amy waits for him faithfully for years. This story is all about love, patience, and a journey that two souls take towards each other.

#3 – The Sunshine on My Face by Lydia Burdick

This is more than a storybook – it’s a way to help initiate personal conversations between readers and individuals with dementia or Alzheimer’s. With its large size and picture content, it’s perfect for reading aloud and bonding between grandparents and kids at storytime! It’s straightforward, full of joy, and evocative of favorite pastimes.

#4 – Blue Sky White Clouds by Eliezer Sobel

This is a wonderful way to spend time with a loved one in the advanced stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s. It’s a picture book filled with images of nature, everyday objects, and people accompanied by simple, large-format captions.

#5 – Color Your Mind: A Coloring Book for Those with Alzheimer’s and the People Who Love Them by Maria Shriver

Created by Maria Shriver, a longtime Alzheimer’s advocate, this coloring book is designed to relieve stress and tap into creativity as you work through the story. It’s interactive and ties activities to helpful information, helping to create a balanced life.

Memory care in Newton, NJ, for seniors with dementia

Bristol Glen is part of United Methodist Communities, a collection of senior living and assisted living communities in New Jersey dedicated to supporting abundant, independent living. For residents living with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, we offer a wonderful program called Tapestries Memory Care, designed to benefit both residents and their families through life-enriching care and advanced cognitive therapies.

To find out more about our community or dementia care in Sussex County, NJ, call us today or visit our website at:

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    200 Bristol Glen Drive

    Newton, NJ 07860

    Phone: 973-300-5788

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