There is an estimated 1,603 people living with dementia in Louth and each year more than 11,000 people develop the disease across the country – that’s around 30 people every day.
Approximately 64,000 people are living with dementia in Ireland today and this number is expected to more than double to over 150,000 by 2045.
There are many forms of dementia, with the most common being Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, mixed Alzheimer’s disease/vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia and Lewy body disease.
A collection of Top 25 Dementia Books, as compiled by Ireland’s librarians, has today been revealed.
The development of the specially curated selection offers a range of perspectives on life with the disease and follows on a need identified by people with dementia and their loved ones for greater information and support.
It has been created in partnership with colleagues from the Dementia Services Information and Development Centre, Dublin (DSIDC).
Through an initiative of the Healthy Ireland at Your Library programme, and supported by the Dementia: Understand Together campaign, led by the HSE, the books are now available in libraries across Louth, including Ardee, Carlingford, Drogheda, Dundalk and Dunleer.
The collection features an eclectic mix of titles on the subject of dementia, from slowing the onset of the disease to ways to improve our brain health, from first-hand accounts of people living with dementia to ways to improve life through nutrition, music, the arts, and more.
The introduction of the collection has been supported by the delivery of dementia awareness training. The training, delivered by the DSIDC, provided information on the different types of dementia and their symptoms. It also gave information and advice on creating a supportive environment and how best to assist and communicate with the person with dementia when visiting the library.
On behalf of public libraries, Colette Byrne, Chair of the Libraries Development Committee of the Local Government Management Agency, said:
“We are delighted to announce details of this list of Top 25 Dementia Books which we hope readers will find both useful and engaging.
"It wasn’t easy to settle on our final 25 and, with new books arriving all the time, we will continue to review and add to our listing as appropriate.
"These books speak to the experiences not only of doctors, psychologists, carers, but, most importantly, of people with dementia. We look forward to sharing our insights on the different books and to pointing readers in the right direction of the most suitable titles depending on the particular interest they might have.
“It’s all part of the Healthy Ireland at Your Library programme which is about providing enhanced health and well-being book collections, and a range of programmes and events, to support people in managing their own health.”
For Fiona Foley, National Co-ordinator, Dementia: Understand Together in the Communities, libraries offer a key resource in supporting people with dementia to live full and active lives:
“If the pandemic has taught us one thing, it is that we are social creatures and that social interaction is a vital part of our health and well-being.
"It is no different for people with dementia.
"Unfortunately, people with the condition may experience stigma and retreat from social interaction as a result of this.
"This can lead to isolation and feelings of loneliness for the person with dementia, their families and supporters.
"While this predates the pandemic, it is nowadays a feeling that we can all perhaps relate to.
"That is why this new initiative by Ireland’s libraries is so fantastic in extending a warm welcome to people with dementia to their local library as part of an inclusive community, and in providing training to staff to make the service as supportive and accessible as possible.
“Finding out as much as possible about dementia, the supports available, the importance of staying socially active and keeping your brain exercised, can all help your health, well-being, and quality of life.
"The development of this Top 25 Dementia Book listing offers people who want to find out more about dementia a treasure trove of insights and suggestions.”
If you or a loved one is worried about symptoms of dementia, you can speak to a dementia adviser at The Alzheimer Society of Ireland on Freefone 1800 341 341 (Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm, Saturday 10am to 4pm).
For details of the Top 25 Dementia Books, as well as information on supports available, including a county-by-county service-finder, visit www.understandtogether.ie.
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