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Library scheme supports people with dementia

29 January 2015

​Islanders who have dementia, their carers and loved ones will benefit from a new initiative to provide more support and information from the Jersey Library.

Jersey Library, the Health and Social Services Department (HSSD) and Jersey Alzheimer’s Association have together launched a UK-based reading scheme called Reading Well.

From Tuesday 3 February people will be able to choose from 25 titles in the Jersey Library that have been recommended by health experts as well as people with experience of dementia.

Practical advice for carers

The list includes a range of books offering information and advice about dementia and normal aging, support with living well after diagnosis, practical advice for carers, personal accounts, and suggestions for shared therapeutic activities.

Health professionals will be able to recommend helpful reading to support people with dementia and their carers. People can also self-refer using the booklist to borrow titles for free from both the town and branch libraries.

Common mental health problems

A Books Prescription Scheme has been run by Jersey Library in conjunction with the Psychological Assessment and Therapy Service since 2004 to help people with common mental health conditions feel better through self-help reading. 

In June 2013, Reading Well Books on Prescription was launched in the UK. The books have been recommended by experts, and been tried and tested and found to be useful.

Building on this success, Reading Well Books on Prescription for dementia will be available in Jersey Library from next month to support the development of a dementia-friendly community and build understanding and awareness of the condition.

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.

Dementia awareness training

Chief Librarian at Jersey Library, Ed Jewell, said “The partnership between Jersey Library, the Health and Social Services Department and Jersey Alzheimer’s Association will help ensure that people are aware of and have access to these invaluable resources. We are also working with our partners to ensure all frontline Library staff receive dementia awareness training, to ensure we deliver excellent service to all our customers.”

Director of Services for Older People at HSSD, Ian Dyer, said “This is a simple, but powerful way for people with dementia and their loved ones to easily find out more about the condition from a range of publications they know they can trust. We are pleased to support the initiative."

Manager of Jersey Alzheimer’s Association, Mark Blamey said “I think this project is a really important way of reaching people who for a variety of reasons might otherwise feel nervous about contacting either HSSD or their GP to get more information about dementia.” 

Jersey Alzheimer's Association is very pleased to have been asked to work with the Memory Clinic and the Library Service to ensure that as many people as possible are made aware of and then use the Reading Well Books on Prescription for dementia service.”

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