The Burns Lake Public library staff putting together the sensory kits. (Monika Willner photo/Lakes District News)

Burns Lake Public library takes a step towards inclusivity

To start lending resources for those suffering from cognitive decline

The Burns Lake Public library is taking a step towards inclusivity and expanding its lending capability in supporting those suffering from cognitive decline and their caregivers.

The library, in partnership with Northern Health, the Alzheimer Society of BC and a grant of $6,681 from United Way of Northern BC, has created a total of fifteen kits, geared to stimulate the brain activity in people expecting cognitive decline, including memory loss and forms of dementia like Alzheimer’s disease.

Monika Willner, who has been working with her small staff towards putting these kits together, is very proud and excited about this new addition to the library.

”These kits will greatly improve the quality of life of dementia and Alzheimer patients, as well as their caregivers, by offering fulfilling activities that are designed for the person’s success,” she said. “The library focused on adding the resources to better serve this specific demographic.”

Each kit is designed to help people who require different levels of support and includes activities, games, puzzles and workbooks that encourage mind, body and social engagement by providing meaningful daily activities.

The library, constantly trying to innovate and bring newer ways to connect people to reading and education, got the inspiration for these kits from two public libraries in Ontario, the Burlington Public Library and Halton Hills Public Library.

“At the beginning of this year, some of our staff members attended a two-day long training session to learn more about dementia and memory loss. The training came from DementiAbility Enterprises,” said Willner.

The same concepts were incorporated into training videos for caregivers to watch before using the kits with their loved ones. Willner also said that once in-person programming starts at the library, there will be additional training offered by Northern Health on how caregivers can use these Cognitive Care Kits with their loved ones and even make their own.

Anyone with a library card will be able to access these activity kits.


The Burns Lake Public library staff putting together the sensory kits. (Monika Willner photo/Lakes District News)