The Council on Aging Board recently embarked on plans to create a Dementia Friendly Bedford. This initiative aligns with the Massachusetts Council on Aging’s Dementia Friendly Massachusetts (DFM) movement and Dementia Friendly America.
Bedford has numerous resources and supports for those living with or caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or other dementias.
The Bedford Council on Aging provides advice, support, and referrals for those living with or caring for someone with all types of dementia, including Alzheimer’s Disease. Each month, the COA Connections Newsletter notes which programs are best with a blue forget-me-not. In addition, at 10 a.m. on the third Friday of each month, a special Memory Café, open to loved ones and their caregivers, is offered at no cost in partnership with Right at Home of Bedford.
The Bedford COA is happy to help and welcomes you to use these resources.
The Bedford Library has many resources, as well. For example, in the Library of Things, you can borrow items (from 1 to 14 days) suitable for people living with various forms of dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease, such as:
- An Activity Apron: This brightly-colored Activity Apron has a zipper, a button, shoelaces, and a variety of fabrics to touch and manipulate. The apron helps exercise fine motor skills, provides tactile stimulation, and can be very calming or soothing. It is perfect to use at the library or to take home.
- A life-like Companion Dog: This 12-inch breathable* Golden Retriever puppy has soft fur and accessories including a bed and a brush. The soft, plush pet will provide hours of loving comfort, a sense of security, and can be a therapeutic tool for nurturing. Many who have loved pets in the past will enjoy this dog without the responsibility of feeding, cleaning, or walking.
- A Realistic Baby Doll: This life-size (20 inches) baby doll with a soft flexible body, comes with accessories, including a hat and a pacifier. Doll therapy can be an excellent way to keep busy and satisfy the need to nurture. The doll may aid memory care and reminiscence about an earlier, happier time in life. As various forms of dementia and Alzheimer’s progress, some people may find dolls comforting and soothing.
You can also access:
- Music: The library also has music on CD format as well as music (through Hoopla) you can download onto a smartphone or computer.
- Print: The library has books people can check out on the many aspects of dementia. The reference librarian can assist in finding up-to-date information in books and journal articles and can direct people to websites and other resources.
For more information go to www.bedfordlibrary.net or phone 781-275-9440.
The Alzheimer’s Association leads the way to end Alzheimer’s and dementia by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support. The 24/7 helpline at 800-272-3900 is available to anyone at any time in need of support for all types of dementias, including complicated disease processes, and Alzheimer’s Disease. For more information, visit www.alz.org/help-support.