Lifestyle

Lynnfield Library looks to add dementia-friendly space

The Lynnfield Library is working to make its space dementia friendly. (Anne Marie Tobin)

LYNNFIELD — The Lynnfield Library is closing out 2020 with several new programs, expanded Front Door Service Hours and an announcement that the library is working toward the creation of a “dementia-friendly” library.

Assistant Director Abby Porter said she has been attending training on “how to better serve our patrons who live with various forms of dementia such as Alzheimer’s.

“I’ve started working this past year on something that is very important, making the Lynnfield Public Library a dementia-friendly library,” Porter said. “More than five million Americans and 50 million people worldwide live with dementia and we at the Lynnfield Public Library want to do our best to help everyone access valuable resources in Massachusetts.”

Porter said she began her research at the Public Library Association Conference in February of 2019. Recently, she attended the Dementia Friends Symposium, “Let’s Talk about Dementia and Culture,” which Porter described as eye-opening. 

The event was sponsored by Dementia Friends Massachusetts (DFM), a Dementia Friendly America initiative. Porter advises patrons to take a DFM one-hour training session to become a Dementia Friend. Participants will  learn five key messages about dementia and a bit about what it’s like to live with the condition, to help turn a new understanding of dementia into practical action that can help someone with dementia living in the community. To learn more or sign up for a training session, visit https://dementiafriendsma.org/.

Porter also said “Memory Cafes” are great events for those suffering from dementia to connect with caregivers, friends and family.

“Many places have moved them online during the pandemic to keep things going, so you can attend one almost every day and in many different languages from the comfort of your couch,” Porter said. “Every Memory Cafe is different, some have art, some have music, some are educational, but they are a great place to talk with others who understand what you are going through to forget about limitations and instead focus on strengths to enjoy each other’s company and to explore something new.”

The library has recently added memory kits and a Dementia Handbook and Resource Guide. The kits provide reminiscence therapy and promote sharing memories and telling stories about favorite things. All kits included a DVD, flashcards and various activities. The handbook can be placed on hold at the library or accessed through the library database using your library card number. For questions or more information, contact Porter at aporter@noblenet.org or at the library at (781) 334-5411. 

In addition to the regular Front Door Service Hours (10 a.m.-12 p.m.; 4-7 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 10 a.m.-12 p.m. on Saturdays), the new hours vary depending on the day. Library patrons should check the library calendar on the library’s website at www.lynnfieldlibrary.org  for specific details and hours; call the library or send an email to lfd@noblenet.org

The library is continuing its regular hours, as well as its 45-minute technology appointments on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Virtual reference appointments are also available for those with questions.

While the library’s offerings have slowed down for the holidays, there are still plenty of activities moving into the New Year.

Weekly craft kits will be held every Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon. Kits are available for pick up on a first-come, first-served basis. Please check the library’s social media every Thursday to see what the next craft activity will be.

Watercolor Mountain Landscape with Pop-Up Art School will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 6 at 6:30 p.m. Advance registration is required. A-Zoom link will be sent to participants 30 minutes prior to the event.

The library is still accepting used puzzles and board games through the end of December. The items should be new or gently used and complete with no missing pieces. Puzzles must be a minimum of 300 pieces. Items may be dropped off in the red return bin on the library porch. All items will be quarantined before being added to the collection. Contact Library Director Jennifer Inglis at jinglis@noblenet.org with any questions.

Starting in January, RBdigital Magazines will be moving to OverDrive, a free library database of ebooks, audiobooks and magazines. To access OverDrive, simply sign up using your library card. Those with existing accounts are good to go without further action. OverDrive is available online through a computer browser, by using a smartphone or by tablet using the app.

The library will be closed Thursday, Dec. 24, Friday, Dec. 25 and Saturday, Dec. 26 for Christmas; it will close early on Thursday, Dec,. 31 for New Year’s Eve, and will be closed all day on Friday, Jan. 1 in observance of New Year’s Day.

Anne Marie Tobin can be reached at atobin@itemlive.com.

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