West Vancouver, B.C. – In West Vancouver, almost one quarter of the residents are aged 65+ and the largest growing segment of the seniors is the 80+ age group. For these residents, staying healthy is paramount for a quality of life that is vibrant with social interaction, physical activities and mental stimulation.
Access to timely, accurate health care can be a challenge on the North Shore. Physicians have many clients to see and waits for hospital procedures can be long. People often take to self-management coupled with online searching, which carries a risk of relying on information about illnesses and treatments that are marketed by corporations.
With its Health + Wellness services, the West Vancouver Memorial Library provides a much needed alternative. The Library is taking a pro-active role in providing credible health care information to the public with its carefully curated Health + Wellness collection, online resources and thoughtfully designed programming. "We are pleased to support the West Vancouver Memorial Library in their work to improve the health literacy of residents", says Erin Black, population health lead at Vancouver Coastal Health on the North Shore.
WVML's professional staff are experts in assisting with the often difficult process of searching for and compiling, not just any information, but the right information. Librarian Margaret Mould explains that "patrons often come straight from a doctor's office feeling overwhelmed and confused by the information the doctor has given them." At these times, the Librarians act as a guide, helping to "sort through [an individual's] questions and concerns and then directing them to the appropriate books, DVDs or credible online sources so that they can go home and digest the information at their leisure."
Offering reliable access to up-to-date, high-quality, evidence-based information by healthcare providers and researches in a pleasant environment is a priority for the Library. The comfortable and quiet Health + Wellness alcove on the Mezzanine level boasts a large and varied collection of books and DVDs in a cozy reading area, as well as stand-up consultation tables for browsing and researching.
In addition, the Library also offers free, informative programming on a variety of health-related topics. This October, WVML is shining a spotlight on these topics during Health Month by presenting five specialized Health + Wellness seminars between September 23 and October 29.
October programming includes a discussion on good communication strategies with your doctor as well as seminars on Osteoporosis and Diabetes. Partnering with local health organizations such as the North Shore Division of Family Practice, North Shore Chapter of Osteoporosis Canada, Canadian Diabetes Association and many more, ensures that the Library can make these great programs available for everyone in the community.
Jenny Benedict, Director of Library Services