Boots UK is supporting the Reading Well Books on Prescription for dementia initiative in Wales, beginning with a special event in Cardiff’s Grangetown Hub Library.
Recent studies estimate there are between 38,444 and 55,829 people living with dementia in Wales* and by 2021, the number of people with dementia across Wales is projected to increase by 31% and by as much as 44% in some rural areas.**
The scheme has been developed to support people with dementia and their carers by providing an expertly curated booklist, which includes information and advice for people living with the condition, as well as fiction, memoir and photographic books used in reminiscence therapy.
During the event, which was attended by Sue Phelps, Director of Alzheimer’s Society Wales, themed activities, including a reminiscence group session where participants will be encouraged to use some of the books recommended as part of the campaign, were held.
In a specially recorded video message, played at the event, Heléna Herklots CBE, Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, said: “It’s great to see how this scheme is developing and expanding so that more people can be helped through the power of books. The scheme will help people living with dementia, and their carers, to get information and advice about dementia and find out more about living well with dementia.
“I welcome the fact that more people will now be able to access these books, whether through libraries, GP surgeries or through Boots stores in Wales, and I’m looking forward to seeing the positive impact this scheme will make for people living with dementia and those who care for them.”
As part of Boots’ involvement in the initiative, posters and leaflets with information on how the Reading Well programme works, where to get help, and the list of recommended books, are now available in 103 Boots stores and pharmacies in Wales.
Nicola Bennett, Head of Customer Experience, Boots UK, said: “Over the past few years we’ve continuously demonstrated our commitment to making our stores in Wales more Dementia Friendly through our partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society. We are pleased to be embarking on the fantastic Reading Well Books on Prescription for dementia initiative by The Reading Agency and helping our customers and colleagues increase their awareness of the condition through information available in stores.”
Debbie Hicks, Creative Director at The Reading Agency, added: “A dementia diagnosis can be a difficult and lonely experience for all concerned. Reading Well Books on Prescription for dementia provides helpful reading material available in the safe and trusted space of the local library, supporting people to live well, manage caring responsibilities and connect with the experiences of others.
“We are delighted that Boots is supporting the scheme by stocking leaflets and posters in every store in Wales, enabling these brilliant books to reach more people and build dementia friendly communities.”