Attention is the ability to focus on something specific. Attention is important because It is the first step needed to remember things. By focusing attention, the brain registers, processes, and then stores the information for recall later. Important aspects of attention include:

  • Being able to focus on one thing at a time
  • dividing attention between two or more things
  • maintaining attention over a long period of time
  • shifting attention between several things
  • remaining focused to complete a task

The area of the brain that is responsible for attention is often impacted by dementia. The participant may have difficulty focusing their attention on the artwork or object being described during a tour. They may have trouble paying attention to more than one speaker during a conversation or maintaining their attention for the duration of the program. It can be hard for some to shift their attention from one activity to another, or to perform one task while listening to the next step at the same time. They may find it hard to ignore distractions like background music, other conversations, or irrelevant noises.