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Wake County Libraries expands program for residents with memory loss

Memory care kits
Wake County Libraries
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The Memory Care Kit program allows caretakers to have interactive conversations with those living with dementia.

A program aimed at helping people with memory loss and their caretakers is expanding within Wake County Libraries.

The Memory Care Kit program started back in 2022. It provides books and activities to help spark memories as well as provide engaging interactions between caretakers and their clients. The expansion has added 17 new topics such as night skies and butterflies. The program originally had 20 themes.

“We're really excited about the new themes because we found a group of books at Ingram — which is our supplier of books, " said Dayna Shields, a Wake County librarian. “So, there are pictures… like, one of them is dogs in costumes because it elicits emotion and starts conversations.”

The new memory care kit includes a folder with activities, a small set of markers and six books. Since the program's launch last year, 350 kits have been checked out so far.

“Wake County’s fastest growing population are seniors,” Shields said. “You know, not always but generally that's gonna be the people who have dementia are going to be your seniors. So we were looking for something to do for that population specifically.”

Shields said people living in Wake County with a library card can get the kits free by signing up on the library’s website. If someone lives outside of Wake County, they must purchase a library card. The kits will then get delivered to the closest library to where that person lives.

Sharryse Piggott is WUNC’s PM Reporter.
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