A Library, Museum and Citizen Service for All (Austria)

Contact details

Name of organisation/individual

ARGE Dementia-friendly library 
(University of Applied Sciences Wiener Neustadt, Bachelor program in Occupational Therapy together with University of Vienna, Institute of nursing science) 
Verena C. Tatzer 
Katharina Heimerl 
Barbara Pichler 
Project: “A Library for All – the dementia-friendly library Wiener Neustadt” 
Funded by “Fonds Gesundes Österreich 


Dr.in phil Verena C. Tatzer, MSc (project lead)
University of Applied Sciences Wiener Neustadt
Johannes Gutenberg Straße 3
2700 Wiener Neustadt, Austria


+43/5/0421 1529







The aims of the participatory health research project were to explore and at the same time test how a community's library, citizen service center and museum can become dementia-friendly. Here are the aims in detail: 1. Raising awareness among the general population about living with dementia and de-stigmatize the image of living with cognitive impairment 2. Promoting health literacy among library users by providing media that convey a differentiated image of dementia 3. Acquiring knowledge and raising awareness among employees of the library, the citizen service center and the local museum 4. Promoting social participation of people with dementia and informal caregivers 5. Strengthening social networks through low-threshold services in the participating public institutions 6. Developing and adapting the spatial and social environment of the library, museum and citizen service to the skills and needs of older people with cognitive disabilities and informal caregivers ---- The project “the dementia friendly library Wiener Neustadt” aims to foster social participation of people with dementia and their caregivers as well as to contribute to de-stigmatization and enhance health-Literacy in the public. It consists of three phases: the needs assessment, the intervention phase and the transfer/sustainability phase. The participatory health research (Hockley et al., 2013) project needs assessments included focus groups with caregivers of people of dementia and walking interviews with caregivers and people living with dementia. The evaluation team performed online-surveys with staff and library users as well as interviews with stakeholders.  ---- Workshops dealing with topics like communication, environmental design issues and health literacy were held with the staff from the regional museum, the public library and the information service point from the city hall. Despite changes in the pandemic of SARS-Covid 19, all three organizations started and implemented practice projects to work against stigma and ensure participation of people living with dementia in the community. All interventions were developed collaboratively in the steering group with the local self-help group Alzheimer Austria including an activist living with cognitive impairment.