CambridgeACT on Alzheimer’s: Memory Café

The CambridgeACT on Alzheimer’s Survey Team

Encourage, lift and strengthen one another. For the positive energy spread to one will be felt by us all. ~Deborah Day

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; this month’s article introduces-The Memory Café!

The first Memory Café was started in Holland in 1997 and the model has spread as a grassroots movement across many countries including the United States. CambridgeACT on Alzheimer’s and Family Pathways are sponsoring the Memory Café in our quest to make our community dementia-friendly with funding from East Central Energy Operation Round-Up and Isanti County Public Health’s Dementia Grant through the Minnesota Board on Aging.

Every 66 seconds someone in the U.S. develops Alzheimer’s Disease and approximately 92,000 Minnesotans age 65-plus are living with Alzheimer’s Disease.

There is “still a lot of living to do” after a diagnosis of dementia and the Memory Café hopes to promote this and restore a sense of “normalcy” for both the person with dementia and those who love and care for them.

The Memory Café is a safe, supportive and engaging place to have fun together while drinking coffee, eating good treats and enjoying each other’s company.

It is a welcoming place where people with dementia and their family members/care partners can gather with others in similar circumstances. Social interactions are at the heart of the Memory Café. It is a time and place where people (both individuals with dementia and family members/care partners) can interact, laugh, cry, find support, share concerns and celebrate life without feeling self conscious or misunderstood.

Although it would seem that the Memory Café would be primarily for the person with dementia, it is equally important for the family member/care partner. The Memory Café gives family members/care partners an opportunity to visit with one another and be a part of a social setting that is relaxed and free of judgement.

The first Memory Café will be held on Thursday, Sept. 14 beginning at 9:15 a.m. at the SAC’s Enrichment Center (140 Buchanan St. N., Suite 164) in Cambridge. The Café will meet the second Thursday of every month, 9:15-10:45 a.m. There is no charge to participate in the Memory Café.

Please call Angie D. at Family Pathways for more information at 320-364-1115 or by email at [email protected]

For more information about the CambridgeACT on Alzheimer’s call Julie Tooker at 763-691-6192. For more information about caregiver support and local resources contact Jayne Mund at 763-689-8811.

Your input and assistance is valuable. Let’s ACT together to create and sustain a dementia friendly community. There is Hope. There is Help.

• Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Group meets the third Tuesday of the month from 10-11:30 a.m. at Mill Ridge Terrace, 235 Fern St. N., Cambridge. Contact Molly Carlson for more information at [email protected] or call 763-691-6172.

• Alzheimer’s Association, Minnesota-North Dakota Chapter, www.alz.org/mnnd, 800-272-3900, 24-hour helpline.