Tips and Tricks for Bookworms with MCI
Symptoms of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) can impact many aspects of daily life, and while it can certainly be frustrating, some activities can lend themselves to compensatory techniques. One of these activities is reading for enjoyment. The memory impairments that can accompany MCI may make it difficult to retain the information you have read or challenging to keep track of plots and characters. This week, I put together a short list of some tips to help my bookworms out there who may be experiencing cognitive changes that impact their love of reading. I invite you to try some of these techniques and find what may work best for you. Feel free to comment if you have tried something that was particularly helpful!
- Take notes while reading about events in the story that you want to keep straight. This can be particularly helpful when reading historical accounts in which many things may be happening in the same time period. You might also try making a brief summary of what you have read each time that you take a break so that you can refer to it when you return to the book later.
- Set a timer to remind yourself to take frequent breaks to rest and contemplate what you have read so far. This would be a good opportunity to take notes as I mentioned above.
- Consider discussing what you are reading with your partner or a friend. Sometimes the act of thoughtfully discussing the topic can help you retain the information better. Additionally, the act of thinking critically about what you have read can be a good cognitive activity.
- Try making a cheat sheet of characters as they are introduced. You can add information as you go along and refer to it as you are reading if you forget some details.
If you find that reading long novels becomes too difficult even after trying several techniques, consider switching to reading things like short stories, magazine articles, novellas, pamphlets like CliffsNotes that provide a summary and analysis of a book.