Wake County Public Libraries is expanding its Memory Care Kits program, which uses books and activities to spark memories, create conversations and provide positive, engaging interactions between people experiencing memory loss and their caregivers.
Each Memory Care Kit includes a folder with activities, a small set of markers and six books – three for the caregiver and three for the person experiencing memory issues. Visitors have checked out nearly 350 kits since the program’s launch in May 2022.
“We’re so happy to see that these kits are making a difference to people who are going through challenging times in their lives,” said Susan Evans, vice chair, Wake County Board of Commissioners. “This is a great example of how our public libraries are coming up with innovative ways to serve all of our community members.”
According to the Alzheimer's Association, growing evidence indicates that people can reduce their risk of cognitive decline by adopting key lifestyle habits – for example, staying socially active and engaging in activities that help challenge and activate the mind. That’s what librarians hope these kits can do, in addition to providing a low-stress, enjoyable way to spend time together.
The program originally featured 20 different themes with some of the most popular kits focused on the 1940s and 1950s; Americana and Travel; 1960s and 1970s; Food, Cooking, Baking; and North Carolina. The expansion adds 17 fresh topics like Alternative Transportation, Butterflies, Dogs in Costumes, Natural Wonders and Night Skies. The new kits include an additional activity and offer smaller books designed specifically for adults with dementia.
In total, 94 kits are currently in circulation and available to check out at no cost for six weeks at a time. Simply reserve your kit online one week in advance and choose the location where you’ll pick it up – all you need is your library card. Don’t have a library card? Anyone who lives or owns property in Wake County can get one for free at wake.gov/libraries.