How to get involved:
• Develop a Planning Committee - To collaborate in the planning and execution of this event
• In order to reach out to a wide spectrum of community members, ask organizations or businesses associated with those you’d like to reach to be cosponsors or promotional partners.
• If there are a couple of referral sources that will be critical to the success of your café, reach out to those organizations while you are developing your plan, to ask for their input, and in some cases to ask them to cosponsor the café with you.
• On an ongoing basis, you will need to communicate with a broader circle of referral sources to share your flyer and other information about your café.
• Build a mailing list as you go. Invite professionals to come to your café so that they can see what it’s like.
• Each Café may develop its own “personality” – the participants’ needs will guide the program’s initiatives.
• Some cafes may want to be only a place of conversation and fun activities, while another may want to include elements of education.
• The cafes are typically run by social workers, medical professionals or others familiar with dementia.
• Each meeting of the Neighborhood Memory Café should have a designated host or hostess that greets everyone, ensures they sign-in, and get a name tag. The host will initiate a time for introductions and announcements.
• Ideally, to develop a Memory/Alzheimer's Cafés it’s best to connect, collaborate, share resources, and support one another’s efforts with aligned partners with similar missions.
Memory Café: Definition of Program
• This program is a social gathering for people with memory loss and their care companions.
• Cafés meet for a couple of hours once or twice a month in accessible community locations.
o This café would take place at Congregation Beth Chaim in West Windsor/Princeton Junction.
• The program is geared towards people of all ages and along all stages of the dementia journey.
• Care partners can include spouses, children, friends, and professional caregivers.
• The Café may include a presentation on a different topic each month, followed by entertainment / an activity and refreshments / or lunch.
• Guests can share conversation over a cup of coffee in a relaxed atmosphere that includes music, art, or other forms of entertainment and an education component with sharing of resources.
• Cafés strive for an atmosphere that’s more like a coffee house or a neighborhood party than a clinical program.
Who Is the Memory Café For?
Those persons with a diagnosis of a dementia related diagnosis
Those persons with mild cognitive impairment
People who are concerned about their memory loss
Family members and care partners of a person with a diagnosis
The Memory Café is open to anyone without formal referral or assessment. A person with a history of disruptive and/or aggressive behavior is not appropriate for the group.
What you’ll find at the Café:
• Education, Information, Support, Entertainment, Socialization, Refreshments or lunch
• Typically, guests are not asked their diagnosis. This way, individuals who have not been diagnosed or are not comfortable with their diagnosis feel welcome.
• While information about resources and services is available for those who seek it, cafés provide a break from focusing on disease and disability.
• Guests come together in a safe, supportive, and engaging environment.
• It is a time and place where people can interact, laugh, cry, find support, share concerns & resources and celebrate without feeling embarrassed or misunderstood.
• The Café encourages friendship and acceptance.
How it all started:
• Dr. Bère Miesen, a Dutch psychologist, understood this need for social connection when he opened the first such café in Holland. The idea is now gaining traction in the US, where close to 200 cafés have opened in cities and towns across the nation. But we hope there will be many more, and soon, because they seem to filling a significant unmet need. https://www.alzheimersspeaks.com/memory-cafes