Building Dementia Friendly Communities Through the Memory Café
On September 30, 2015 by Jodi Boyne
Everyone with a brain is at risk for Alzheimer’s. Today there are more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s, and nearly 60 percent of people with dementia live in their own communities. Recognizing an urgent need to better support people with dementia and their caregivers, The Lutheran Home Association created the Memory Café -- and its efforts were recently recognized by the Washington Post.
The Memory Café is not only a monthly support group for people with dementia and their caregivers, but also an opportunity to raise awareness and educate businesses, public officials, family members, and caregivers about Alzheimer’s and other forms of memory loss.
“Our goal is to help educate the community, help get rid of the stigma that is still associated with it and to create a community that those living with dementia are still a vital part of,” said Jan Zimmerman, Director of Dementia Outreach and Education, The Lutheran Home Association.
The Memory Café is designed to provide a place where individuals with memory loss and their caregivers can be together in a safe and supportive environment. The cafes are self-directed, bringing in speakers and information participants want and need.