Public libraries in England have launched their latest Reading Well Books on Prescription scheme to support people with dementia and their carers. The ground-breaking scheme, which already helps over 275,000 people with common mental health conditions feel better through self-help reading, is now turning its attention to the enormous need for quality-assured support for dementia care in the UK.
Reading Well Books on Prescription for dementia will be available in public libraries from February as part of a national library strategy to support the development of dementia-friendly communities and build understanding and awareness of the condition.
Research shows that dementia presents a key national health challenge with a profound social, personal and economic impact on the estimated 850,000 people in the UK living with the condition, as well as their carers and families. The new scheme will also help the many people living without a formal diagnosis, who may be worrying about symptoms and wanting to find out more.
Guidelines from NICE recommend dementia care should increase knowledge, provide practical advice and support following diagnosis and with early memory loss, support for carers and encourage people to remain active and engaged. More details about the evidence base for the scheme can be found here.
The 25 titles on the Reading Well Books on Prescription for dementia list have been recommended by health experts as well as people with lived experience. The list includes a range of books offering information and advice about dementia and normal ageing, support with living well after diagnosis, practical advice for carers, personal accounts, and suggestions for shared therapeutic activities. The core book list for Reading Well Books on Prescription for dementia can be found here.