The Strathmore Municipal Library has included dementia-friendly inclusivity kits as a part of their special collections services.

Funded by the Strathmore Family and Community Support Services (FCSS), Assistant Director of Library Services Carmen Erison says these kits are designed to help people with dementia connect with their families and their past.

"They are intergenerational, these kits can be used with a grandchild and a grandparent. It gives those people opportunities to engage their minds, connect with family, games, puzzles. It's nice to be able to have those products where families can connect together a little bit more, even though dementia might be a problem within their family," she said.

Erison explained that there's more to the kit then just games and puzzles. Each kit also has things like regular household tiles, books, story cards and more. These items are made to help dementia patients reconnect with their past and the regular day tasks they used to do.

The kits also offer supports for people to better understand how to spend time with someone that has dementia.

"What's great about these products is that its not just the item itself, but there's also tips and tricks and tools and everything that goes along with these products to help people with conversations, learning how to use the products, and even just working with someone who has dementia. It's not just the product itself, but there's also additional information that goes inside the kit to help people as well."

The FCSS was able to purchase the kits through separate companies like Relish, which focus on dementia. The kits were then given to the library to distribute. Community Support Coordinator with Strathmore FCSS Melissa Masse said they could purchase the kits through a grant for a pilot project designed to bring more dementia support to rural areas. Masse hopes that these kits will help the community be more inclusive.

"I think there's a lot of stigma around dementia and we're trying to change that, we're trying to be a more inclusive approach to dementia and other disabilities, so we just want to bring abilities for all," Masse said.

Memberships to the Strathmore Municipal Library are free, so anyone can access these dementia kits.

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