CambridgeACT on Alzheimer’s: Memory Café

Jeannie Winselman and Audrey Clough
SAC’s Enrichment Center

In an effort to raise awareness, educate our community, reduce the stigma associated with Alzheimer’s disease, and assist families who have been touched by Alzheimer’s disease, Cambridge is introducing the Memory Café.

The Memory Café is a safe, supportive and engaging place to have fun together while drinking coffee, eating treats, and enjoying each other’s company. It is a welcoming place where people with dementia and their family members/caregivers can gather with others in similar circumstances. Social interactions, laughing, crying, finding support, sharing concerns and celebrating life are all at the heart of the Memory Café.

Although it would seem that the Memory Café would be primarily for the person with dementia, it is just as important for the family member/caregiver. The Memory Café gives them an opportunity to visit with one another and be a part of a relaxed social setting, free of judgment. Approximately 92,000 Minnesota senior citizens are living with Alzheimer’s. After being diagnosed with dementia, there is still a lot of living to do, and the Memory Café hopes to promote this. It also hopes to restore a sense of “normalcy” for both the person with dementia and those who love and care for them.

The first Memory Café model began in Holland in 1997 and has spread across many countries, including the U.S. CambridgeACT on Alzheimer’s and Family Pathways are sponsoring the Memory Café in our quest to make our community dementia-friendly. Funding is provided by East Central Energy Operation Round-Up and Isanti County Public Health’s Dementia Grant through the MN Board on Aging.

The first Memory Café in Cambridge will be held on Thursday, Sept. 14 at 9:15 a.m. at SAC’s Enrichment Center. They will meet on a monthly basis every second Thursday of the month from 9:15-10:45 a.m. This is a pilot program and is free of charge to participate.

For further information, feel free to call Angie D. at Family Pathways at 320-364-1115 or email her at [email protected] There is also a great video by Lisa Genova on www.ted.com/talk, titled, “What You Can Do to Prevent Alzheimer’s.” Let’s ACT together to create and sustain a dementia friendly community. There is Hope. There is Help.

Monday, Sept. 4 – Closed for Labor Day.

Tuesday, Sept. 5
Tator Tot Hot Dish
• 10 a.m. – Adult Coloring.
• 10 a.m. – Knit & Stitch.
• Noon – “Hand and Foot” Cards.

Wednesday, Sept. 6
California Burger and Potato Salad
• 8:30 a.m. – Morning Stretch.
• 9 a.m. – Cribbage.

Thursday, Sept. 7
Baked Chicken
• 9:30 a.m. – Walking.
• Noon – “500” cards.

Upcoming Events
• Wednesday, Sept. 13: Day Trippers play, Monkey Business. Only one spot left. Call for reservations as soon as possible. Musical comedy in Two Covenants. The fun-loving monks of Saint Bernard’s Monastery are in a jam. Abbot Costello and his four beleaguered brethren have just learned that a real-estate developer is about to turn their monastery into a gambling hall called Bernie’s Casino Royale. Unless the merry Men in Brown can raise $250,000 dollars by midnight, they are done. Leave at 10:45 a.m. at SAC’s Enrichment Center. It’s lots of fun and the food is great. Cost: ($15 for transportation and $35 for play.)

• Thursday, Sept. 14: Refresher Course for Driver Improvement Program, 5:30-9:30 p.m. Call 1-888-234-1294 to register.

• Monday, Sept. 18: Cruise down the Mighty Mississippi. Leave from SAC’s Center at 9 a.m. and board the Jonathan Padelford River Boat at 10:30 a.m. Great history lesson, great food, and great entertainment.

• Monday, Sept. 25: Two spots left on the Mighty Mississippi Cruise. Find a friend and join us as we take in the beautiful sites along the mighty Mississippi River on a four-hour cruise aboard the Jonathan Padelford River Boat. This historical narrated cruise travels from Harriet Island in St. Paul through the Ford Lock and Dam – Lock No. 1 from St. Paul into Minneapolis and returning to Harriet Island. As we cruise we will feast on a buffet of BBQ chicken, pulled pork, potato salad and all the “fixins.” As a bonus, if we get 50 people on the guest list, the cruise line will provide a delightful live Dixieland band. Oh, and there may be a little surprise stop after the cruise. What a great way to welcome autumn in Minnesota. The all inclusive cost is $74 per person. Call SAC’s (763-689-6555) to add your name to our guest list. Leave from SAC’s at 9 a.m.