New Initiatives Grant Final Report

“Manlius Library Care Kits”

Please provide a brief narrative explaining your project and its outcomes.

The Manlius Library Care Kits are intended to provide resources and activities for individuals suffering with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other cognitive deficits and and/or those with low-vision. The Kits’ contents aim to facilitate independence, discussion, reminiscence, and pleasant interactions between caregivers and those they are caring for – family members, friends, loved ones. The Kits contain hands-on activities, manipulatives, audiovisual items, books, and other items to promote mental and emotional stimulation. In addition, each Kit contains resources for the caregiver – a book, discussion cards, and information about available community services. The low-vison Kit contains resources – puzzles, games, reading materials, manipulatives – that are easily used and enjoyed by those with low-vision. The Kits will be used by the Outreach Librarian to provide a more participatory visit at locations such as Senior Residences, Adult Day Centers, and Dementia Care Facilities. The Kits are also available for checkout by community members for use outside the library.

This grant application was submitted by Outreach Librarian, Kristin Neri. Ms. Neri researched and acquired all of the items to create the Kits. She then left Manlius Library to take a position elsewhere. I took over the position of Outreach Librarian in mid-August 2023. I then took the items that Ms. Neri purchased and packaged them into themed Kits, had the Kits catalogued, and brought them along on my visits to the Silver Fox Adult Day Center in Manlius. I used the contents of the Kits to engage one on one with the individuals at the Day Center. I tried to find the most enjoyable and stimulating activity for each individual – some liked to use the Aqua Paints, others enjoyed the puzzles and manipulatives, many liked to page through various books filled with beautiful pictures of people, places, or animals and then share their thoughts and memories that had been sparked by the images

In March of 2024, the Care Kits were displayed in the library to bring awareness to this collection and encourage people to check them out. See pictures below.

In my opinion, the activities were enjoyed and very well-received by many of the members at the Day Care Center.

Several library patrons have commented that it is a great idea to provide such Kits for caregivers in our community. The circulation statistics are below.

I found it to be an interesting challenge to take over this project midway through its execution. I did my best to stay true to what I thought Ms. Neri’s original intentions were for this project, yet also make it my own and then use the Kits in ways that I felt made sense and made the most impact.

What is the most remarkable accomplishment or finding of your project?

The most remarkable accomplishment of this project was seeing how appreciative and relieved the caregivers are when they find out the Care Kits exist and that they are available to them and their loved ones. The Kits make the caregivers feel “seen” and supported by the library. Caring for a family member dealing with dementia or other memory impairments is a difficult task – physically and emotionally. Having resources available that help the caregiver to better care for their loved one is both needed and appreciated.

Please provide a brief summary of your evaluation activities and/or results, if available.

Since being on display in March:
Laughter & Fun 1
Classic Movies 0
Cars 0
Gardens 2
Low-Vision & Sensory 0

Michelle Calupca

Reference and Outreach Librarian, Manlius Library

CLRC is excited to announce our new Catalyst Grants to replace our previous New Initiatives Grants! Check out the grant page for the rules & requirements!