Resources for Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

January is Alzheimer’s Awareness month. This is a time when we are asked to learn more about this disease and dementia which affect over 747,000 Canadians and at least 44 million people worldwide. Increasing awareness about what it is like to live with dementia and Alzheimer’s day-to-day and the impact these diseases have on individuals and their families helps to fight the stigma associated with these diseases. 

Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are often grouped together in people’s minds. And while Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia, accounting for 60-80% of all diagnoses, dementia is a term used for a group of similar diseases, of which Alzheimer’s is just one. So, it is not accurate to say that if a person has dementia, they automatically have Alzheimer’s disease. 

Alzheimer’s is a progressive and ultimately fatal disease that eventually affects all aspects of a person’s life – how they feel, think, and behave. Symptoms of the disease include short and long-term memory loss, changes in mood and behaviour, difficulties thinking, problem-solving and language which reduce a person’s ability to perform daily activities.  The impact and stress on these individuals living with Alzheimer’s as well as their families is great.

The Waterloo Public Library has resources to help educate as well as support people with Alzheimer’s and their loved ones.

WPL Resources

Here are some items in our collection that can help you learn more about Alzheimer’s disease, it’s signs and symptoms, and the stigma that surrounds it.


WPL’s Special Collection 

WPL also has a collection of books that are geared towards people living with Alzheimer’s, dementia, or memory loss. These are a great option for people who love to read but due to Alzheimer’s struggle with intricate plots and characters. These books appeal to adults, but are formatted with less vocabulary and are easier to read. They include short stories, chapter books with brief paragraphs and one or two vivid illustrations per chapter to assist the reader.

This collection is found in the large print book section at our Main library and our staff would be happy to assist you to find the right book.

To browse this collection online, simply search WPL’s Encore catalogue using the search terms people with Alzheimer’s or people with dementia and limit the results to “large print” using the filters on the left in the Encore catalogue (under Format).

Sharing Our Voices Program

This is a free in-person program that connects teens and older adults living with memory loss through art and storytelling. The program promotes intergenerational social connections and the artwork created in this program will be displayed around Waterloo Region. For more information, visit WPL’s website.

 There are many ways we can support people living with Alzheimer’s and their families here in Waterloo. For more information, support, and services, please contact the Alzheimer Society of Waterloo Wellington at or 519-742-8518.