Read to Me: Stories

Read to Me: Stories

  • 10
  • 30
  • 60


  • Bring Joy
  • Time Together

What you need

  1. Books and stories


Book worms devour all kinds of fiction, from short stories like Aesop’s Fables to novels like The Count of Monte Cristo. It’s a relaxing hobby but can be much harder to do alone if someone is in the later stages of their dementia journey

This activity brings back the joy of reading, albeit in a slightly different way. Help book lovers to access the wonderful tales within the pages by reading aloud to them – chapter by chapter. This means one novel might take several weeks or months to finish

Since our tastes are wildly different, make sure you find the stories they’ll enjoy. The best way to do this is to speak to their nearest and dearest to discover which novelists or genres they like

Top tip

Reading a longer book? Spend the beginning of each session recapping the events of the chapters you’ve already read before starting a new one

The Activity

  1. Choose a book or story the person will love
  2. Visit the person in their room or where they are seated – somewhere quiet without any distractions
  3. Greet them by holding their hand or laying your hand gently on their hand or forearm
  4. Sit at their eye level and ask them how they are. If they can’t respond verbally, look for visual clues, like a change in breathing, movement of head, hands or eyes and respond by letting them know who you are, or talk about something that’s going on that day
  5. Hold eye contact and say that you’re going to spend some time reading a book to them
  6. Read the first chapter and look for visual cues as to whether they’re having a good time – if they are, carry on!
  7. Pause at the end of each chapter
  8. Even if they’re not fully following the story, they will hopefully feel a connection with you
  9. Keep going for as long as you have time, or they seem happy
  10. Finally, bring the session to a close by telling them you’ll read the next chapter soon and talking about what’s coming up next in the day, for instance, coffee or lunchtime