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Dementia can be an isolating illness, not only for those suffering from it but also for the care partners who help them on their journey. To meet the needs of the growing numbers of Evanston residents affected by dementia, the Evanston Public Library has launched a new Dementia Resource Center that provides information and education.

There, patrons will find books on the subject of Alzheimer’s and dementia. These books are marked with a purple dot to identify them and can be borrowed like other library books. The Dementia Resource Center is on the third floor of the Main Library.

In addition, the Resource Center has take-home activity kits that can be checked out for a month at a time. These kits contain puzzles, games and other mind and memory activities that encourage people on the different phases of the memory loss spectrum to interact with their care partners and others. The Library encourages feedback on how these activities work for those who borrow them. Presently, the activity kits are available only to Evanston residents.

The Dementia Resource Center serves the same population who attend the Library’s monthly Memory Cafés. The Memory Cafés, which began in September 2018, take place from 1 to 3 p.m. on the third Saturday of each month in the Falcon Room. Memory Cafés provide enrichment for those with dementia and support for their care partners.

The next Memory Café on August 17 will be a poetry workshop. No registration is necessary.

These new resources for patrons living with dementia and those who care for them are funded by a Reaching Across Illinois Libraries System (RAILS) partnership grant and by Age Options, a local nonprofit organization providing older adults and their care partners resources and service options.