Over 60% of people with a dementia diagnosis experience loneliness and having the condition can mean that communicating with relatives, friends and other carers is a challenge. Cumbria Library Service is running a project as part of the Cumbria Dementia Strategy to provide an innovative innovation tool to help lessen this isolation.
Project leads in Cumbria Libraries have created dementia resource bags which are available for loan from the county’s six main libraries. The bags are designed for individuals and family members affected by dementia. They contain information, activities and objects relating to different themes such as gardening, holidays, growing up, and sports.
The bags can help to provide a focal point to stimulate discussion and on occasion, unlock long-forgotten memories. Steve Owen, Alzheimer’s Society operations manager for Cumbria says:
‘It is widely acknowledged that the use of such resources which contain a range of meaningful objects can enable enhanced communication for people living with dementia. This can bring therapeutic benefits to the individual as they recall past events and experiences which promote a sense of wellbeing’,
Helen Towers, Reader Development and Stock Manager, Carlisle Library says:
“The Dementia bags are hugely popular and we have a practically 100% loan rate. Staff have received testimonials from carers regarding the effect that resource bags have had on some individuals, such as stories about how a loved one has spoken for the first time in years, through use of the bags.”