Breaking Bread and Engaging in Community without the Hovering Shadow of Dementia.
Memory Cafés are events that allow individuals living with dementia and their care partners and family do something together in community, allowing dementia to fade into the background. Our time together includes facilitated activities, sharing in good food and drink, and beautiful conversations. There are various themes facilitated by guest speakers and artists. The Cafés take place in accessible, relaxing, and welcoming spaces throughout our community.
Be My Guest
During each Memory Café, you are my guest, and over the course of an hour, we will break bread together, meet others on similar journeys of dementia and care, and partake in an activity that brings joy, a moment for learning, and community.
Our General Outline
Welcome and introductions
A playful moment of Creativity (Usually a TimeSlips Storytelling Session)
A facilitated program that varies depending on the theme or guest for that day.
A closing moment
Refreshments and Conversations
While Memory Cafés are typically out at local restaurants, libraries, senior centers, and churches, I do not shy away from having a Café at a care community. It is important that we include all on the dementia journey into the joy of these moments but sometimes transportation is not feasible. Because of this, if you would like to see a Memory Café in your community. Let me know and let’s create something together.
I have been a firm believer in the power of community and breaking bread together. That is why in 2014 when I first heard about Memory Cafés through the Fox Valley Memory Project in North East Wisconsin, I knew I wanted to get involved.
I am grateful that the door to facilitate a handful of Memory Cafés for the FVMP opened and thus launched an almost obsession with the beauty and wonder that came from these events.
They are simple, rooted in the core needs of our humanity, yet the impact on alleviating isolation, depression, and emotional pain, life with dementia can cause is profound.
I along with many others are working towards a day when thousands of Memory Cafés exist.
Memory Cafés Founding
Memory Cafés were first explored and developed in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands and quickly found that the moments spent together in these Cafés reduced social isolation, opened the door to engagement without stigma, and provided resources and education to families while also providing moments of joy spent with their loved one living with dementia.