Library Volunteers Become Dementia Friends

A Dementia Friend learns a little bit more about what it’s like to live with dementia and then turns that understanding into action. Anyone of any age can be a Dementia Friend! Rosie (Community Development Worker) continues to provide Dementia Friend sessions via zoom & spent time with the Burngreave Library Team to see how the library can become more dementia-friendly.

Throughout the session, Rosie & the team discussed what dementia was & how they can make the library more dementia-friendly. There are 5 key things to know about dementia:

  1. Dementia is not a natural part of ageing.
  2. Dementia is caused by diseases of the brain.
  3. Dementia is not just about memory loss
  4. It’s possible to live well with dementia.
  5. There is more to the person than the dementia.

Alan was just one of the Library volunteers involved in the session & said “I particularly liked the role play: “imagine you are a 73-year old with dementia…. what can you do or not do for yourself?” I like the idea of climbing inside someone’s skin to “walk around for a while” to see what it’s like, as Atticus says in To Kill A Mocking Bird. I know I can’t know what it’s like, but just trying to imagine that made more me more empathetic. I suppose I am used to seeing people with dementia in hospital or care home settings, as very dependent on others, so it was thought-provoking to be reminded that many are out there in the community, living productive and satisfying lives and to start to think about how we make the library easier for them to use.” 


Sessions online are very different compared to delivering face to face, however, it’s so important to continue to spread the message, especially as people living with dementia face social isolation more now than ever. Rosie said, “when you’re hosting & running an online session there’s lots of different things to think about”. It’s great to see Burngreave Library doing everything they can to educate the team & support everyone to enjoy the library.

For more information on Dementia Friends please visit https://www.dementiafriends.org.uk If you’re interested in getting involved in making North Sheffield Dementia Friendly, please get in touch with Rosie via rosie.strathearn@soarcommunity.org.uk