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By Debbie le Quesne

A must for care home activity co-ordinators

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At a time we hear on the television news that libraries across the nation are under threat because of central government funding austerity, I have stumbled upon a service provided by them that I would dearly love to see ring fenced.

We all know by now that Dudley’s local authority is doing everything possible to enhance its already-brilliant Dementia Gateway initiative. But the borough’s libraries service has an ace card to pay to help both those with the memory-loss condition and their carers and families.

A series of booklets, reminiscence packs and copies of old newspapers are available to help stimulate memories. They make ideal material and frankly are manna from heaven for residential and nursing home activity co-coordinators.

It’s a resource I never knew existed, so I’m assuming a lot of people who may get to read this blog, will also never heard that such a rich resource is just a library ticket away.

Packs include: 1950s, 1960s Childhood, The Blitz. Children’s War, Christmas Past, The Garden, Golden Age of Cruise Liners, Golden Age of Motoring, Golden Age of Steam Trains,  Home Front, Home Guard, RAF at War, Titanic, War at Sea, Wish You Were Here, Women’s War and Yanks.

And to revisit the headlines of yesteryear, there are the priceless nuggets such as: Evening Standard  – Coronation 1953, Evening Standard – D-Day Landings 1944, Daily Express – Dunkirk 1940, Daily Express – Britain Declares War, Daily Sketch – Victory in Europe 1945, Daily Sketch – Blitz 1940 and Daily Sketch – Battle of Britain 1940.

Booklets include: Trends in and Make do and Mend.

All of theses can be borrowed on a library ticket – with residential homes being able to join on a group basis.

Further services are actually held in libraries. Including Reminiscence or Shared Reading sessions.

For older people and those living with dementia, shared reading groups improve quality of life through cognitive stimulation, social interaction and meaningful engagement each week.

We are all aiming to improve life experience for dementia sufferers and I’m sure mood and concentration would be improved by such stimulation.

And finally – another source of help. Check out Picture to Share, the leading UK specialists in providing books for people with dementia.

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