Cambridge Public Library, a branch of the East Central Regional Library, is excited to introduce Reminiscence Kits to its collection. Reminiscence Kits are tote boxes filled with themed items that can be used to initiate conversations for people looking to create special moments with loved ones affected by Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Caregivers can use the items to engage the brain and ask questions. For example, with the Sewing Kit a caregiver could ask, “Did you do any sewing when you were younger? Feel this ribbon—what does it remind you of? Did you ever make an apron? Do you like this thread color?” Other kits themes include fishing, hunting, cooking, gardening, and outdoors and handyman.
Create a story with the items in the Kit. Talk about all 5 senses: touch, taste, sight, smell, and sound. Encourage your loved one to touch and handle the objects in the Reminiscence Kits.
Remember, the goal is to find something the person did in their younger life that meant a lot to them, helping them unlock memories. Be creative. Make your experience with your loved one using the Reminiscence Kits your own.
Watch a video introduction to Reminiscence Kits, created by Effingham Area Alzheimer’s Awareness, to learn more.
In 2016, Cambridge Public Library received a grant from the Cambridge ACT on Alzheimer’s group to purchase resources on Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, care-giving and brain health to increase awareness and provide support information.
The six new Reminiscence Kits will complement the resources previously purchased with the Cambridge ACT on Alzheimer’s grant funds (books, audiobooks, DVDs, and Brain Fitness Kits), already well-used in this dementia-friendly community. The Reminiscence Kits were developed by Effingham Area Alzheimer’s Awareness, a non-profit out of Effingham Illinois.
- Reminiscence Kits are available for checkout to any registered card holder of East Central Regional Library in good standing.
- Reminiscence Kits can be checked out for 3 weeks.
- Reminiscence Kits can be renewed twice, if no one else has requested the kit.
- Reminiscence Kits can be searched for and requested via the ECRL catalog.
- Kits must be returned to any branch during open hours, as they do not fit in book returns.
- Patrons are asked to check the inventory sheet in the kit to make sure all items are returned.