Guidelines for Library Services to Persons with Dementia

by Helle Arendrup Mortensen and Gyda Skat Nielsen

Series: IFLA Professional Reports 104

Over the last decade many countries have paid increasing attention to dementia related diseases, primarily due to the rapid growth of the elderly population. Although dementia is generally considered as an age-related disease, younger people may also suffer from dementia.

A person with dementia will gradually loose his/her memory, the personality may undergo profound changes, physical limitations develop, and the patient will require help with many or most of daily activities. In spite of such mental and physical limitations, a person with dementia can benefit greatly from many types of library services.

The purpose of this guidelines publication is to raise awareness in libraries, among library professionals, care givers, public policy makers, as well as among families and friends of persons suffering from dementia, that many types of library services and materials can help stimulate the memory while providing pleasure and entertainment.

Experience shows that even persons with a middle-stage dementia can benefit from reading literature and obtaining information. These guidelines give practical recommendations on how to provide mental stimulate with books and other library materials. The publication also includes suggestions for library staff on how to tailor such services to the target population. The examples included are mostly taken from public libraries in Denmark.

This publication is part of a series of guidelines publications from the IFLA Standing Committee Libraries Serving Disadvantaged Persons (LSDP) focusing on persons with specific disabilities or special needs.

Guidelines for Library Services to Persons with Dementia
Helle Arendrup Mortensen and Gyda Skat Nielsen.
The Hague, IFLA Headquarters, 2007. – 20p. 30 cm.
(IFLA Professional Reports 104.)
ISBN 978-90-77897-22-5
ISSN 0168-1931

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Guidelines, Library Services to People with Special Needs

Last update: 28 October 2016