1st Edition

Supporting People to Live Well with Dementia A Guide for Library Services

By Sarah McNicol Copyright 2023
    198 Pages
    by Facet Publishing

    198 Pages
    by Facet Publishing

    Libraries have enormous potential to support people with dementia and their carers, and demand for dementia-friendly library services is only likely to increase in the future as the numbers of people affected by dementia rise and there is greater emphasis on community-based care. Taking action to create a dementia-friendly library can initially feel like a massive undertaking, but small changes can make a big difference.

    Supporting People to Live Well with Dementia describes how to effectively develop, promote and evaluate services for people with dementia. It provides readers with an understanding of the different ways in which library customers may be affected by dementia, and an appreciation of some of the ways they can continue to contribute positively to their communities. It then suggests ways in which libraries can better support people with dementia and their carers through approaches to customer service, design, resources, reading interventions, online provision and a range of other activities that promote more positive and inclusive attitudes towards people living with dementia amongst library staff, customers and communities more widely.


    What is dementia?

    Types of dementia

    Stages of dementia

    Understanding dementia

    Potential impacts on the use of library services

    Person-centred care


    Supporting people living with dementia and their carers

    Social model of disability

    Supporting library customers with dementia and their carers

    Support for library staff affected by dementia

    Training opportunities


    Library design and environment

    Finding the library

    Getting around the library

    Case studies of dementia-friendly library design

    Sensory spaces

    Conclusion: maintaining dementia-friendly library design

    Reading and Dementia

    Dementia and imagination

    Dementia-friendly reading materials

    Reading activities for people with dementia and carers


    Health, social and arts activities

    Health and therapy-informed activities

    Activities supporting social connections

    Arts-related activities


    Digital and online provision

    Online activity provision for people with dementia

    Other technologies for people with dementia

    Online provision for carers


    Partnership working

    General partnership schemes

    Library-specific partnership schemes


    Communications and marketing

    Language and terminology

    Design of communications materials

    Working with the media and other partners


    Evaluation and service development

    Key concepts

    Recruiting participants

    Evaluation and research methods



    Future Trends

    Demographic changes

    Changes in care provision

    Conclusion: future library provision for people with dementia and their carers

    Summary: Ten actions for dementia-friendly libraries


    Sarah McNicol has been a researcher since 2000, working on over 70 research and evaluation projects of differing scales within various universities and across a number of disciplines. She previously held roles as school librarian and as a tutor within the FE/adult education sector. Sarah has published widely within the information sector and beyond. Recently, her focus has been on supporting people with dementia and their carers. This has included co-creating a comic with a group of people with dementia; evaluating a shared reading programme for carers; and research into a bibliotherapy project operating in care homes.