Dementia Friendly Libraries
In communities all across Saskatchewan, local public libraries are important places for connection and interaction, access to resources and information, sites of lifelong learning, and more. For many individuals living with dementia and their care partners, local public libraries also contribute to the level of dementia friendliness that is experienced in the community as valued parts of their regular routine and sites of interaction and engagement.
A dementia friendly community is a place where individuals living with dementia and the care partners that support them are meaningfully engaged and able to participate to the fullest extent possible.
That’s why the Alzheimer Society of Saskatchewan was pleased to share information about Dementia Friendly Communities and the role libraries can play in becoming more supportive, inclusive, and accessible for people living with dementia and those that care for them at a recent presentation for library contacts!
As part of the Saskatchewan Library Association’s virtual learning opportunities series on March 24th, 2021, our “ABC’s of Dementia Friendly Libraries” presentation provided an opportunity for library contacts around the province to learn more about dementia and how engagement in dementia friendly initiatives can help support the community members that visit their branches and connect with their programs.
An estimated 60% of individuals living with dementia live in the community in their own homes. Communities of all types and sizes have a role to play in increasing support, inclusion, and accessibility for individuals affected by dementia.
By discussing the changes in abilities, behaviour, and communication that dementia can cause and exploring examples from a library setting, attendees were encouraged to develop a dementia friendly lens through which they could consider their libraries’ social and physical environments. Attendees were also invited to access copies of the Alzheimer Society of Saskatchewan’s Dementia Friendly Toolkit – Library Edition, a comprehensive resource which can help libraries start conversations about dementia friendliness and plan out actions to incorporate increased awareness and understanding in their spaces and interactions.
We thank the Saskatchewan Library Association for making this presentation possible, and we welcome libraries from all across Saskatchewan to contact us to learn more about the Dementia Friendly initiatives and ways they may become involved.
By increasing awareness about the changes that dementia can cause, building understanding about the impact those changes can have on someone’s experience at the library, and reducing stigma that can create barriers to inclusion, libraries can make meaningful progress towards a dementia friendlier Saskatchewan.
Steps You Can Take to Help Support Dementia Friendly Communities:
- If you are a library staff or Board member, reach out to [email protected] to request your copy of the Dementia Friendly Toolkit – Library Edition today.
- If you are an individual living with dementia or a care partner, consider reaching out to your local library to let them know that dementia friendliness is important to you. And, if you are looking for more information about living with dementia, contact the Alzheimer Society of Saskatchewan’s Dementia Helpline at 1877-949-4141.
- If you are a community member that would like to learn more about dementia, consider becoming a Dementia Friend today! As a Dementia Friend, you can connect with practical tips and information in a convenient way through our Dementia Friends monthly e-newsletter and use this information in your everyday interactions. Together we can build dementia friendly communities… one Friend at a time!