The Champlain Library staff and volunteers recently participated in a training session with the Alzheimer Society of Cornwall.  The Blue Umbrella Training Program will help the library create an environment that is inclusive of people living with dementia and their caregivers as well as make people with dementia feel valued and welcomed.  Library staff hope that more community groups and businesses will take the initiative so that Vankleek Hill and Champlain Township can become Dementia Friendly communities.

“World Alzheimer’s Day is on September 21st and we wanted to make sure we were able to meet the needs of our patrons” says library CEO Cynthia Martin.

What is a dementia-friendly community?

A dementia-friendly community is a community that:

UNDERSTANDS dementia and the challenges that people living with dementia face in their community.

ENCOURAGES the inclusion and independence of people living with dementia.

ASSISTS people living with dementia in the most appropriate and helpful ways.

VALUES and welcomes people living with dementia in their businesses and establishments.

Dementia is an overall term for a set of symptoms that are caused by disorders affecting the brain. About 564,000 Canadians are currently living with dementia, while 1.1 million Canadians are affected directly or indirectly by the disease. Alzheimer is just one disease that can cause dementia.

The Champlain Library is now designated as a Dementia Friendly location and the staff and volunteers will be pleased to provide great customer service to people living with the disease.  So, next time you are at the library, look for the Blue Umbrella decal in the window; that is the symbol of a dementia friendly business.  For more information on how the Champlain Library can support people with dementia, please call the library at 613-678-2216.