Library Services for People Living with Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s disease already affects more than 5 million Americans, and is the 6th-leading cause of death in the United States; all predictions are for even more rapid spread as the Baby Boomers age. Yet libraries in many cases have been slow to consider how specifically to serve this growing population among our users, and how to serve the even-larger group of those caring for people with dementia.
This course will cover the basics of Alzheimer’s and related dementias, including the variety of specific needs those living with the disease might bring to a library: medical, legal, financial, ethical, and emotional. We will evaluate traditional library information resources relating to those needs, consider a bibliography of fictional and memoir resources that explore the caregiving experience, and examine some innovative examples of adult programming dedicated to those living with Alzheimer’s. The course will conclude with brainstorming and review of potential new library services for the students’ own institutions.