White Oak Cottages Opens a Memory Café
One of the hardest aspects of living with dementia is the loss of connection with others in the community. Everything takes longer to do, and often the patients or their community of friends find it hard to maintain normal exchanges. Over time, people with memory loss and their care givers become isolated within their communities.
Now there is an initiative that addresses the need for more supportive interactions for those dealing with memory loss. It is a “memory café,” a monthly gathering designed to provide a supportive, relaxing social experience for people living with early stage memory loss and their caregivers. It offers a new way for patient and caregiver to share time together and to be part of an accepting community.
The memory café concept is new in the United States, and it is largely a grassroots movement. Cafés meet in church halls, restaurants, and community centers, among other places. Each café is shaped, in part, by the preferences of those who attend. Some groups just want the chance to socialize and make new friends; other groups prefer activities that allow them to share a common experience such as music, art, or games.
White Oak Cottages is offering its first Memory Café at the Westwood Public Library on Tuesday, September 30 from 2:00 to 3:30 pm. White Oak staff will host. It expects to offer this café each month from now on. Spread the word to those in the community who may be interested in attending!
White Oak is also working with the one other memory café in Greater Boston at the Jewish Family and Friends in Waltham. The two organizations hope to collaborate with other groups who are interested in creating a café, and to coordinate timing so that people can attend more than one café each month, if they want to.
For more information about the upcoming White Oak Cottage Café on September 30, click here. Given that cafés are organized on a local level, it is hard to know how many cafés have been set up. However, you can find a partial listing of Memory Cafés here.