Reading Well Books; a Prescription for Dementia

People with dementia now have the opportunity to access a variety of Reading Well Books in local libraries. The books provide information and advice, help after diagnosis, support for living well, advice for relatives and carers, and personal stories.

The Reading Well Books on Prescription scheme for Dementia helps people to understand and manage their health and wellbeing using self-help reading. The books are particularly useful for people with dementia, carers and anyone wanting to find out more about the condition. The books are all endorsed by health professionals.

Helen Towers, Reader Development & Stock Manager from Cumbria library service says ‘For many people the library is the first port of call when they receive any diagnosis at the GP surgery or hospital. We often get people coming to the library to research and find out more about their condition in the initial stages. The Reading Well books on Prescription have been very popular with our library users suffering from Dementia,  providing helpful and supportive information including; support following diagnosis and with early memory loss, practical and emotional help for carers and suggested activities to help people remain active and independent for as long as possible’.

One service user explained ‘I have found the books very helpful and supportive; I would to highly recommend them to others particularly in a similar situation. It was really useful to take the book home and work on it in my own time’.

By working in partnership with local libraries Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) staff can now recommend the Reading Well Books to patients to help provide support. People can also access the books via their local library services and some books are available as e-books. The Reading Well Books on Prescription: Dementia scheme supports the National Dementia Strategy and works within NICE guidelines for dementia care.

Dr Sarah Thwaites, Clinical Psychologist from CPFT comments ‘With around 850,000 people living with Dementia in the UK, it is important to look at what other tools are available that can assist with the condition and compliment the services our Trust provides. The Reading Well Books on Prescription for Dementia is a great way for people to get support, help them self-manage their condition and provide them with the information they need. It is brilliant to see so many of our libraries in Cumbria stocking these books making them easily accessible for our patients.’

Dementia Awareness week is running from the 18th – 22nd May, it aims to fight to raise awareness and understanding of dementia enabling people to live well with the condition. The trust will be holding various events in order to help raising awareness of the condition.