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Reading Well Books on Prescription for Dementia

Reading Well books on prescription launch image

Updated 4 February 2015

Libraries across the East Riding are taking part in a reading scheme to support people with dementia and their carers.

The Reading Well Books on Prescription scheme for dementia will enable GPs and other health professionals to recommend helpful reading from a list of books available to borrow free from local libraries.

Reading Well Books on Prescription is a ground-breaking national scheme, which provides book-based support for a variety of health conditions from public libraries.

The 25 titles on the Reading Well Books on Prescription for dementia list have been recommended by health professionals using guidelines and quality standards for dementia care from NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence).  They have been tried and tested by people with experience of dementia.

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

The Reading Well Books on Prescription for dementia scheme had its local launch today (Tuesday February 3) at Beverley library, and the books are available at all East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s libraries and through the mobile library service.

The project is a joint initiative from independent charity The Reading Agency, the Society of Chief Librarians and local library services, with funding from Arts Council England.

The local scheme was launched by East Riding Libraries jointly with public health.  It is supported by groups including the Alzheimer’s Society and partner health organisations.

It is aimed at supporting the development of dementia-friendly communities and building understanding and awareness of the condition.

Councillor Jonathan Owen, deputy leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council and chairman of the East Riding health and wellbeing board, said: “I am delighted that East Riding libraries are taking part in this initiative.

“There are 850,000 people in the UK who have dementia, but less than half of people with dementia have a diagnosis or are in contact with relevant services.   I hope that this scheme can help to support our residents by helping people to understand more about the condition and provide useful information and advice.”

Councillor Richard Burton, portfolio holder for civic wellbeing and culture, said: “Reading Well Books on Prescription for dementia means that public libraries will play a significant role in helping to build dementia-friendly communities. 

“Evidence tells us that many people see the local library as a trusted place to go for health information and schemes such as Reading Well have a key role to play in providing help in a supportive and non-stigmatised community space.”

Dr Andrew Noble, GP and clinical lead for dementia at NHS East Riding of Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The CCG is very much behind the launch of the new dementia Reading Well project. It’s a wonderful initiative that will benefit both carers and those living with dementia by providing essential practical information and advice, helping to reignite memories and increasing communication and interaction with their younger loved ones.

“One of our priorities is supporting vulnerable people and this demonstrates a great opportunity for those with dementia to feel confident knowing they can contribute and participate in something that is meaningful to them.”

For more information about Reading Well Books on Prescription for dementia, visit www.readingagency.org.uk

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