Kitchener-Waterloo

Dementia-friendly book club launches at Kitchener Public Library

Marlena Books, a local publisher of adult picture books for people with dementia, will host a book club for people with dementia on Thursday mornings at the central branch of the Kitchener Public Library.

Readers can revisit novels they read in their adulthood, or read books designed for people with dementia

Karen Thompson of Marlena Books said the book club aims to help dementia patients maintain independence in reading. (Submitted by Karen Thompson)

Book-loving adults who've been diagnosed with dementia will be able to maintain their hobby through a new club at the Kitchener Public Library. 

Marlena Books, a local publisher of books designed for people with dementia, is hosting a dementia-friendly book club Thursday mornings at the central branch of the Kitchener Public Library.

"We want individuals to feel empowered to continue reading and really give them that sense of independence and dignity when they're reading," said Karen Thompson, lead researcher at Marlena Books.

Members can choose books they've read and loved in the past—murder mysteries and history books are popular—or can pick up one of the Marlena books, Thompson said.

They'll also have the option of reading the book at home, or in a group during the book club.

Other activities might include listening to a piece of music that goes with the theme of a book, or creating artwork that fits with a certain plotline.

"We really want to cater it to the individuals with dementia, their needs, and meet them where they're at," Thompson said.

Thompson said the club has space for about 15 members and will meet between 11 a.m. and noon beginning June 27.

The program is funded by a grant of more than $13,000 through the government of Canada.