Memory and Alzhemer's Cafés
Support Groups with a Social Twist
The challenges of living with memory loss can sever social connection at a time when it is needed most. Memory and Alzheimer's café gatherings are one way people with memory loss and their care companions are coming together to make new friendships and support one another.
"Lori, this very nice to see. The concept started as an Alzheimer Cafe in the Netherlands in 1997 and was so successful over there that there are now 200 of these meetings throughout the country (with a population of 16 million)! From there it went to England, Belgium, France, Sweden and recently even Indonesia." Marc Wortmann, Excutive Director of Alzheimer's Disease International.
Dr. Bère Miesen, a Dutch psychologist, understood this need for social connection when he opened the first such café in Holland. The idea is now gaining traction in the US, where close to 100 cafés have opened in cities and towns across the nation. But we hope there will be many more, and soon, because they seem to filling a significant unmet need.
Members Talk Honestly About What They Get Out Of Their Memory Cafe Gatherings
Click Below To View Video
Of Their Memory Cafe Gatheringshttp://alzheimersspeaks.com/memory-a-alzheimers-cafes#sthash.YP6tlyey.dpuf
Members From Arthur's Memory Cafe in Roseville, Mninesota.
People who are involved with Memory/Alzheimer's Cafés will tell you these informal social gatherings are also powerful community building events. Not only do memory cafés reduce isolation, they unite people facing similar challenges, creating an opportunity to give and receive a deeper level of support. Getting together regularly with a group of friends also brings joy and a sense of normalcy to an existence that all too often becomes focused on disease and disability. In addition, memory cafés can be a much-needed break from normal routines and a source of ideas, information and connection to other community support mechanisms. To learn more about the benefits of memory cafés, check out this
Arthur’s Memory Café
in Roseville, MN.
Collaboration and Guidance
To bring Memory/Alzheimer's Cafés into more communities, we need to connect, collaborate and support one another’s efforts. There is so much to share! And even though memory cafés can be low cost and relatively easy to operate, outreach can be challenging because the people who would benefit the most from attending are often the hardest to reach.
To support all of you who are thinking about starting a Memory/Alzheimer's Café or are already running one, we have gathered a group of 'Memory Café Mentors,' if you will, who are knowledgeable and willing to provide ongoing guidance. They are available to talk with you about the process and philosophy, connect you to resources and answer questions as they arise.
Lori La Bey,
is the Founder of Alzheimer’s Speaks, a US based advocacy group that provides education and support for those dealing with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
She was named the
#1 Influencer online for Alzheimer’s
by Sharecare with Dr. Oz in November of 2012.
Her training programs are designed for people with memory loss, care partners, professionals and the public. She is a highly sought after speaker, trainer, and advocate for new delivery systems and attitudes towards those with memory loss. Her mission is to deliver programs, platforms and collaborations which shift caregiving from crisis to comfort worldwide. Lori has been a contributing author in four books and is currently working on two books.
Lori La Bey, Alzheimer’s Speaks
Phone: (651) 748-4714
MA, CMC, CAEd, DCP, QDCS, EICS is a nationally known expert in Alzheimer’s and related Dementias care. She is a Certified Geriatric Care Manager who specializes in helping families with Alzheimer’s and related dementias issues. She consults with families on the telephone and in person, on family problems related to the dementias. She trains caregivers in person and via video. One of her training videos is on You Tube. Other videos are on the videos page of her company’s website.
Carole Larkin, Third Age Services
Phone: (214) 649-1392
Jytte Lokvig grew up in Copenhagen, Denmark. She’s an artist, educator and counselor. Since 1994, Dr. Lokvig has worked with the elderly, especially those with severe memory loss. Her books, workshops and training programs have helped numerous families and caregivers develop better approaches and skills, improving the lives of everyone involved. In 2008 Dr. Lokvig opened the first Alzheimer’s Café in the northern hemisphere. The Santa Fe, NM café set the standard known as the American Model of the Alzheimer’s Café. These caféshonor the whole person, dementia and all, but are focused on the emotional and social needs of everyone.
Jytte Lokvig, Alzheimer’s A to Z
Susan H. McFadden, Ph.D.
,retired as Professor of Psychology, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh in 2012. She is now conducting research and evaluations for the Fox Valley Memory Project and is working with the Project to create a “dementia-friendly community” in the Fox Valley region of Wisconsin.
John T. McFadden, M.Div. , is an ordained minister of the United Church of Christ who served in parish ministry for 34 years. He retired again in July, 2011, as the first workplace chaplain for Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin and is currently serving as spiritual services director at Appleton Health Care Center and as a dementia advocate in Wisconsin.
Aging Together: Dementia, Friendship, and Flourishing Communities
, was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 2011.
John and Susan McFadden, Fox Valley Memory Project
Phone: (920) 740-0144
Debora Tingley is the founder
Memory Café Catalyst
, an online forum for sharing information and discussion about memory cafés
She has worked with older adults living with memory loss as a volunteer and care manager intern at San Francisco’s Institute on Aging, and is now laying the foundation to develop a network of memory cafés in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has an MA in Gerontology, a PhD in Neuroscience, and over 15 years’ experience in medical writing, research and project management.
Debora Tingley, Memory Café Catalyst
Phone: +41 (0) 79 173 8565
Andy Francis, like many others has lost dear close family and friends at the hands of this debilitating condition. He wanted to give something back and having got involved in a few Cafés in the South West, he had the idea of a national UK directory. Not only could people find their nearest Café but also points of reference to relevant services, document downloads and topics all under one roof.
Andy Francis, Memory & Alzheimer’s Cafés UK Directory
Phone: +44 (0) 7977 414798
David Light and Jim Delves, former Carers are now working together to help carers in the UK and have produced “A Guide to Setting up a Memory Café”. This has been used to open 26 Memory Cafés in the County of Devon UK, as well as other parts of the Country and abroad.
A Sing-a-Long CD and Song Book, Memory Box and a “Dementia Carers’ Pathways” information booklet has also been produced and is now used extensively by Mental Health Teams in the UK.
David Light and Jim Delves, Carers
Phone: +44 (0) 01626 680064
Sue McDermott is the Peer Support Network Coordinator for Cornwall Rural Community Council. Over the last 3 years, she has developed and facilitates a Memory Café Network, which provides (free of charge), public liability insurance cover, a subscription to a weekly reminiscence newspaper, orientating, engaging activities, and access to training events. She offers practical help to start new memory cafés, and support to make them sustainable. There are currently 28 memory cafés, and two more in development - one for nearly every town of the Cornwall region of England. To see the difference memory cafés make – watch this film
Sue McDermott, Cornwall Memory Café Network Project Manager
Phone: +44 (0) 01872 273952
- Toolkit for Building a Neighborhood Memory Café by Carole Larkin
Survey to Several Existing Alzheimer’s and Memory Cafés
by Jytte Lokvig
- A Guide to Setting up a Memory Café by David Light and Jim Delves
- Article On Arthur's Memory Cafe by Gail Rosenblum of the Star Tribune
- For FREE puzzles contact Puzzles To Remember with Max Wallack
Lifetimes™ the game of reminiscence fun for all ages!
Puzzle With Me Specialized puzzles which are oversized, age appropriate and only 12 pieces!
A sampling of questions for engagement
by Jeanne Bearmon's
If you have already opened a memory café, and are not yet part of the Alzheimer’s Speaks Collaborative Resource Directory, please join our growing listing by adding your contact information here under ‘Caring Support Services’ and the sub-category of ‘Memory/Alzheimer's Café.’