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New supports for people living with dementia and their care-givers

PHOTO CONTRIBUTED
Back row: Brenda Hill, manager of client services for the Alzheimer Society of Alberta and North West Territories, Shari Remus, regional leader of community relations for the Alzheimer Society of Alberta and North West Territories, and Robin Hepher, CEO of the Chinook Arch Regional Library System. Front row: Courtney Reiter, clerk at Picture Butte Municipal Library, Cheryl Garratt, Picture Butte Municipal Library manager, and Lisa Weekes, manager of partnerships and community development for Chinook Arch Regional Library System.

Maintaining a strong relationship after a loved one has been diagnosed with dementia is a common worry.
Together, the Alzheimer Society of Alberta and Northwest Territories and Chinook Arch Regional Library System are collaborating on resources to assist individuals and their care partners.
In March 2019, 10 memory kits were made available to borrow from any Chinook Arch member library.
In the first three months the kits were borrowed or renewed 17 times.
This success prompted the Alzheimer Society to gift Chinook Arch another three memory kits that they received from Room 217 Foundation.
“The circulation data on the first 10 kits demonstrates a real need for support resources in our region,” said Brenda Hill, manager of client services at the Alzheimer Society. “As part of our ongoing partnership with Chinook Arch, this expansion increases opportunities for people living with dementia and their care partners.”
Cindy Lauwen works for Barons Eureka Warner Family Community Support Services (FCSS) in the seniors services program.
During her time as a recreation therapist working in continuing care in Taber she used similar kits and can speak first-hand about the benefits.
“The kits are awesome,” Lauwen said. “The way they are put together makes it easy for family, friends, and volunteers to have a successful and meaningful visit with a person with dementia.”
“They are a great resource to be able to share with anyone looking for information and support. Best of all, they are free to use with your library card.”
The new kits focus on memory care that engages people in music-making, stimulates memories and conversations, and strengthens relationships.
The three new themes are Seasons, Inspirations, and Journeys.
Each kit is led by an expert singing host and provides hundreds of hours of flexible programming.
The kits include:
• 13 video episodes.
• Accompanying activity booklets.
• On-line training.
• Bonus audio CDs.
While these three new kits will call the libraries in Milo, Picture Butte, and Warner home, they can be borrowed through any Chinook Arch library.
To place a hold on a kit, visit www.chinookarch.ca and type “memory kit” into the search field.

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