What is a memory cafe and what should I expect?

What is a memory cafe?

Dementia or memory cafés offer people with memory problems and their carers the chance to socialise and share information and experiences on living with Dementia.

Memory cafes help:

  • If you have Dementia
  • If you’re a carer for a person with Dementia
  • If you’re concerned about someone’s memory

It’s possible that you may have heard the term “memory café” but don’t know much about them. Memory cafés are becoming more accessible in the UK and can be beneficial by enabling people who are affected by Dementia to meet.

Memory cafes are a great way to reconnect
Memory cafes are a great way to reconnect

Living with Dementia can make a person feel at a loss. Activities that were once enjoyed can become overly confusing making the individual lose interest and are less likely to try new activities.

What should I expect from a memory café?

coffee is available at memory cafesYou will be welcomed by friendly people including volunteers who have experience and training in Dementia. There will also be a community nurse available, located in a private area if you want some advice on memory loss or simply for a friendly chat.

The layout of a memory café is very similar to a regular café. Tables are available to sit at and feel relaxed whilst tea, coffee and biscuit are all available.

Most memory cafés also include stimulating activities to get involved in.

Quizzes, painting, live music and even in some cases massage and reflexology can help prevent boredom and support relaxation. It follows that a memory café is a great place to visit regularly.

Accessibility is key; you will find that most cafés are held in places that are easy to access. A local community centre or hotel is the perfect setting which allows for space and a safe environment.

It can be an anxious time trying new things especially for someone who is affected by Dementia. Memory cafes are generally held on a regular basis, such as once a week, a fortnight or even once every month.

A memory café is not the same as a memory clinic. You will find more information on a memory clinic in an upcoming post.

A small donation may be requested.

What are the benefits of going to a memory café?

In a memory café you have the opportunity to talk about any personal issues you may be worried about. This can be anything from a change in a relationship to expressing yourself in a supportive, safe environment with people who understand.

The feeling of loneliness and isolation can be reduced by socialising and having a friendly chat with other people affected by Dementia.

Where can I find my nearest memory café?

Dementia Connect is a comprehensive directory for people affected by Dementia in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The search function allows you to find specific services nearest to you such as memory cafés, care homes and social groups.

Click here to find a memory cafe near me and for further information.

Please let us know about your local memory cafe below. If you would like us to include your group or local memory cafe that you think people will find useful please contact us.

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