Effort to create dementia-friendly Moray communities

Libraries to be ‘dementia friendly’

MORAY’S LIBRARIES ARE being placed at the forefront of an effort to create dementia-friendly communities in the region.

Moray Council staff have been trained in dementia awareness – and ways in which they can support people living with the condition or those who are worried about memory loss.

Senior staff meanwhile have been undertaking advanced training so that they can carry out environmental audits on library buildings. They can then recommend some simple improvements that would make premises less confusing with customers with dementia.

The improvements might including changing signs so that they include symbols as well as words and making sure the design and colour schemes of walls, flooring and furniture is right.

People with dementia often find it easier to remember things from the past rather than recent happenings. A range of reminiscence boxes are loaned out by libraries to groups and individuals with staff running sessions on how to make best use of reminiscence boxes or making one of your one.

Digital reminiscence technology is available for use in Elgin library as part of a session with staff support. The equipment enables people with memory problems to create their own digital ‘My Life’ story book with pictures, video clips and music which evokes memories for them. It can be shared with family, friends and carers to aid communication.

Moray Council libraries also offer a books-on-prescription scheme. The list of reading material is available to any library user and has been recommended by health professionals and people with first-hand experience of living with various medical conditions, including dementia.

Principal librarian Sheila Campbell said: “We are delighted to be launching a new dementia collection in Elgin, Fochabers and Forres libraries. This new collection contains books selected and recommended by dementia healthcare experts, people with dementia and their carers.”