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How Pictures to Share is working in care homes

After borrowing the Pictures to Share titles from the local library in Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne, an activities coordinator at a nearby care home shared stories of the positive effects the collection had had on the residents.

The Pictures to Share titles are part of the Reading Well Books on Prescription for dementia list. and are available to borrow from almost all English public libraries.

My experience of Pictures to Share

“I was searching on my local library website, looking to set up a little library for our residents and also looking at items which may be suitable for people who have dementia when I came across the Pictures to Share collection.

The Pictures to Share titles are large hard-backed books, each with a different theme including sport, the countryside, family life and the seaside. They are filled with beautiful photos, pictures and quotes.

One day, I came across a lady with dementia sat flicking through one of the titles and chuckling away. We had a guest speaker come in that day, but she was just so enthralled by the book that at one point during the talk she interrupted saying “excuse me can I just ask a question”. We all turned and she said “why did the chicken cross the road?” and proceeded to laugh, as did the rest of us. If on other days this same lady appears unsettled, the books always came to the rescue.

Another lady, who is very happy and always wants to dance, called me over; she was looking at a photo of a boy and his mum smiling and the caption “smile and the world smiles with you”. The lady pointed to the caption and then started to sing. It was a beautiful moment and brought a tear to my eye, as well as hers.

I have never seen a book with so few words evoke such emotionally positive reactions. I have had residents open up about their past from seeing photos in the book. If a resident perhaps isn’t very vocal or tends to not wish to take part in much, these books are a way to engage with them.

I am so happy that I found these books. Thank you Pictures to Share”.

Get involved

Contact your local library service to borrow the Pictures to Share titles.

See the full Reading Well Books on Prescription for dementia book list.

Share your experiences of the Pictures to Share titles with us.

Visit the Pictures to Share website

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