Dementia Awareness Week 2017

 

Hot on the winged heels of Mental Health Awareness week (thank you to all colleagues and partners who helped get that information out there) we are promoting Dementia Awareness Week (14 to 21 May 2017), an Alzheimer’s Society initiative, in our libraries.  There are so many myths around Dementia and that is why we recommend the Reading Well books on prescription dementia list.

This is a varied carefully chosen collection consisting of evidenced and researched information books, alongside fascinating and moving personal histories. It also includes a children’s picture book to help younger readers understand beloved members of their families who have been diagnosed with one of 100 conditions that come under the umbrella of Dementia.  Check out the craft book for creative ways of engaging those living well with Dementia.  It is a helpful and uplifting collection.

The second initiative I want tell you about is the Dementia Friends sessions happening this week which are run by a trained Dementia champion. They are relaxed and informative sessions that engage us in such a way that unhelpful fears and misinformation around the subject can be openly discussed and real facts and practical tips on creating Dementia friendly services and how to reach out and support those living well with Dementia come to light.

There are Dementia Friends sessions later this week  at two libraries in our neighbouring borough, Westminster.  These sessions are open to everyone and I urge you to recommend them or even come along yourself:

◾Tuesday 16 May, 1pm at Pimlico Library
◾Friday 19 May, 11am at Church Street Library

Kate Gielgud
Health Information Co-ordinator

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Reading Well in Kensington & Chelsea

Reading Well logo

 

Following the Reading Agency launch of the Reading Well Books on Prescription Dementia Collection on Monday 26 January, libraries across the three boroughs gave community and health partners, as well as members of the public, the chance to find out about our Reading Well initiatives, with collection launches at five libraries.

The first launch event was at Pimlico Library (read more on Books & the City) and the final two took place at Hammersmith and Fulham libraries (read more on LBHF Libraries). Nestled between were the launches in Kensington and Chelsea:

North Kensington launch of Books on Prescription Dementia Collection
North Kensington launch of Reading Well – Books on Prescription Dementia Collection

 

The first Kensington launch was at North Kensington Library on 4 February, a lunchtime event with partners from the Stroke Association, Age UK, the Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster Memory Service, Open Age, West African Women’s network development and the Depression Alliance.  The Remembering Together display was on show and attracted a lot of interest.

North Kensington display including Books on Prescription core and Dementia Collections, plus Mood Boosting Books
North Kensington display including Books on Prescription core and Dementia Collections, plus Mood Boosting Books

 

Then it was the turn of Brompton Library on 6 February, led by librarian Stephanie Webb and Diane Sherlock, author of Come into the Garden. Stephanie and Diane led a discussion on Reading Well Books on Prescription over tea and scones with members of the public who shared their own experiences of caring for relatives with dementia. Kathryn Gilfoy from Westminster Arts answered questions about living well with dementia, Kathryn runs the memory cafes in north and south Westminster. Diane read some of her poems.

Five different launches in different libraries in the three boroughs, only made possible by joint working with library staff and health and community partners.

Very warm thanks to Silva, Adisa, Gaynor and Besant at North Kensington, Katie and Stephanie at  Brompton and all colleagues! Thanks to Diane Sherlock and Nell Dunn who donated their time and to Kathryn and Freya from Westminster Arts. Thanks to the Stroke Association who donate their time and resources to help prevent vascular dementia by preventing stroke.

Libraries are doing their bit for Dementia.  If you would like to join the Dementia Alliance, contact Helen.ODonovan@alzheimers.org.uk.

[Kate Gielgud]