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Dementia Friendly Books

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Unusual Stuff to Borrow, Life + Learning

  • old book with pink flower in middle

Meghan, Queen's Square | January 3, 2019

According to the Alzheimer Society of Canada, 564,000 Canadians currently live with dementia, a range of conditions that includes Alzheimer’s disease and Creuzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), among others. One of the most difficult aspects of living with these conditions is the impact they can have on one’s ability to enjoy favourite pastimes, such as reading and sharing books with loved ones.

To help with this challenge, the Idea Exchange is introducing a new collection of Dementia Friendly Books geared to anyone who has a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia and is starting to find traditional books harder to enjoy due to their condition. Dementia Friendly Books offer up engaging content, just like other adult books, but they use techniques like special fonts and spacing, navigation cues and including more pictures to encourage memory retention and make stories easier to follow.

The new Dementia Friendly Books are located near the Large Print section on the Main Floor of the Queen’s Square library. The titles can also be found in the catalogue under “dementia friendly books” or “Alzheimer friendly books”. All the books may be placed on Hold and borrowed as normal 3-week loans.

Marlena Books, a publishing company that produces some of the titles in our Dementia Friendly Books collection, has recommended four ways to enjoy these books:

  1. Read Independently
  2. Read with Assistance -- It’s okay to ask for help. Marlena Books can be read with the assistance of a family member, friend, loved one or care staff.
  3. Read Together -- Read a story aloud together. This is a great opportunity for visiting loved ones and engaging in a recreation activity together.
  4. Read for Recollection and Socialization -- Reading a story can bring up memories or events that have happened in a person’s life. Reading together can be a great conversation starter and more memories can be made.

Thank you to Carol Cooper and RBC Bank for the generous donation to start the Dementia Friendly Books collection. Carol Cooper is one of the Idea Exchange’s Visiting Library Service volunteers. For the past two years, RBC Bank has made donations to Idea Exchange in recognition of her volunteer service to our organization.