Dementia-friendly inclusivity kits have now been made available as part of the Strathmore Municipal Library’s special collections services, through a partnership with the Strathmore FCSS.
According to Melissa Masse, community support coordinator with Strathmore FCSS, the organization received a grant from the Rural Development Network as a part of the Awareness Builds Connection in Dementia-Friendly Communities Project.
Strathmore is one of five rural communities within Alberta to receive the funding.
“Funded through the Public Health Agency of Canada, Rural Development Network’s (RDN), the ABCD Project is guided by three priorities aligned with Canada’s national dementia strategy, A Dementia Strategy for Canada – Together We Aspire,” said Masse. “Those three categories are: dementia prevention, reducing stigma related to dementia, and supporting communities to become more dementia inclusive. RDN’s ABCD Project aims to provide rural Albertan communities with a selection of evidence-based, dementia-friendly initiatives adaptable to rural settings.”
Rural communities tend to be presented with unique barriers when it comes to having the capacity to fund, develop, implement, and evaluate community initiatives.
A key component to the ABCD project is to provide support to selected rural pilot communities, such as Strathmore, in hopes to begin establishing sustainable, dementia-friendly communities.
The Strathmore FCSS will be implementing three projects with this funding.
The first, being a dementia-friendly service, train-the-trainer sessions to front line workers, service providers and businesses. This aims to create dementia-friendly spaces and supports throughout Wheatland County.
The second is a speaker series which is set to be held at the Strathmore Municipal Library highlighting speakers from local service providers to share information on dementia and related topics such as caregiving, brain health and cultural perspectives of aging.
The last of which, is the inclusive activity kits that are now available at the library for individuals and families to borrow. The versatile kits are designed for all ages and abilities and are specifically curated to be dementia-friendly.
“The kits have adapted puzzles, adapted board games, fidget and sensory items, items to spark memories, games to spark intergenerational conversation, and more,” said Masse. “Partnering with the Strathmore Municipal Library was a natural fit for this project, as they are a central educational and social hub within our community. All of the resources and activity kits are accessible at the library at no cost, as memberships are free.”
A full list of the dementia-friendly activity kits can be found on the Strathmore Municipal Library’s special collection website. The kits will be permanently available within the library’s collection.
John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times