Get Healthier at Your Library
You may know that library staff can help you find the most authoritative evidence-based information about matters of personal health. Maybe you’ve even phoned your local library to find out more about a prescription your doctor gave you or visited the library to check out some diet and nutrition books. Have you noticed that your library could very well be offering you other great ways to get and stay healthy with programs they offer for adult members of your community?
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A gym membership can be expensive. Your library, like libraries in Worcester, MA, Bellwood, IL, and Marfa, TX, could be a less expensive — even free — resource for regular Zumba classes. Or maybe you’re trying to cope with a loved one who is suffering from Alzheimer’s or another memory compromising condition of old age. You can find relief for them and for you in a public library-sponsored program that provides memory kits, guidance from a local geriatrician’s public presentations for caregivers like you, or information on how to better communicate with someone suffering from severe memory loss and challenges. You might not even need to leave home as public libraries are also sharing such instructional resources right on their websites. Take a tour, for example, of what the Sharon (MA) Public Library provides to anyone linking to their Alzheimer’s Resources page.
If you’re interested in helping other community members cope with health setbacks, you might find that your local library is a regular stop on the mobile blood donation station’s route. Giving back, of course, can improve your own mental and emotional health so this kind of effort improves your own wellness as well as contributing to the medical needs of others.
If you live in a rural area, you may already have discovered that your public library can be your link to a variety of government agencies’ health-supporting services. If you live in an area with more options, however, have you considered linking friends and relatives whose residences are more isolated to their own public libraries? Do you know a military veteran’s dependent or beneficiary, for example, struggling with age- or status-related health conditions? Inquire at your own library about resources you can suggest to help them acquire the services they might need. Help someone close to you locate the best information quickly by getting help yourself to identify the most expedient resource to suggest to them.
From exercise to care respite to community-aware health pursuits, your public library can be as much a wellness partner in your life as your primary care provider.