Last week, libraries across the country marked Dementia Awareness Week 2017 by showcasing the services they offer to people living with dementia and their carers. Dementia can affect anyone: 835,000 people in the UK have dementia, and this number is projected to rise to over 1 million by 2025.
Using an innovative mix of reminiscence events, displays of dementia collections and visits from local dementia support organisations, libraries demonstrated how vital they are as community hubs for dementia support.
Southwark Libraries ran their Living Memories programme, a range of free activities based around dementia support and local history. Librarians gave attendees a practical session on how to use RemArc, the new reminisce website using BBC archive material to trigger the memories of people with dementia. Other events included exploring memory boxes made from the archival collections of Southwark’s heritage services.
Coventry libraries hosed a creative collaging session, where people with dementia and their carers used materials like photos and mementos to create personal, memory-triggering collages.
Buckinghamshire also used their reminiscence collections, which include giant board games and activities to encourage motor neuron skills and memorabilia, and are available for users to borrow with their library card.
Reading Well Books on Prescription for dementia book collections
Reading Well Books on Prescription for dementia forms part of a national library strategy to help meet the enormous need for quality-assured support for dementia care in the UK and build dementia-friendly communities. Libraries showcased their Reading Well collections with displays of the books on the list with supporting materials signposting users to other services available.