Supporting People to Live Well with Dementia: A Guide for Library Services

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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the author

Libraries have enormous potential to support people with dementia and their caregivers, and demand for dementia-friendly library services is only likely to increase in the future as the numbers of people affected by dementia rise and there is greater emphasis on community-based care. Taking action to create a dementia-friendly library can initially feel like a massive undertaking, but small changes can make a big difference.

Supporting People to Live Well with Dementia describes how to effectively develop, promote and evaluate services for people with dementia. It provides readers with an understanding of the different ways in which library customers may be affected by dementia, and an appreciation of some of the ways they can continue to contribute positively to their communities. It then suggests ways in which libraries can better support people with dementia and their caregivers through approaches to customer service, design, resources, reading interventions, online provision, and a range of other activities that promote more positive and inclusive attitudes towards people living with dementia amongst library staff, customers, and communities more widely.


What is dementia?

Types of dementia
Stages of dementia
Understanding dementia
Potential impacts on the use of library services
Person-centred care

Supporting people living with dementia and their carers

Social model of disability
Supporting library customers with dementia and their carers
Support for library staff affected by dementia
Training opportunities

Library design and environment

Finding the library
Getting around the library
Case studies of dementia-friendly library design
Sensory spaces
Conclusion: maintaining dementia-friendly library design

Reading and Dementia

Dementia and imagination
Dementia-friendly reading materials
Reading activities for people with dementia and carers

Health, social and arts activities

Health and therapy-informed activities
Activities supporting social connections
Arts-related activities

Digital and online provision

Online activity provision for people with dementia
Other technologies for people with dementia
Online provision for carers

Partnership working

General partnership schemes
Library-specific partnership schemes

Communications and marketing

Language and terminology
Design of communications materials
Working with the media and other partners

Evaluation and service development

Key concepts
Recruiting participants
Evaluation and research methods

Future Trends

Demographic changes
Changes in care provision
Conclusion: future library provision for people with dementia and their carers

Summary: Ten actions for dementia-friendly libraries

Sarah McNicol

Sarah McNicol is a research associate at the Education and Social Research Institute, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. She has worked as an Information Studies researcher since 2000, and has particular interests in information literacy, lifelong learning, and school and children's libraries. She has published widely in the information studies field and has previously guest edited a number of journals, including Library Review and Library Trends.