By Nori Patnode, Certified Senior Concierge Advisor at Concierge Care Advisors
What is an Alzheimer’s Café? It is a nonjudgmental and safe space for seniors who are living with Alzheimer’s or Dementia and their family members, friends, and/or caregivers to go enjoy an afternoon at a local café to socialize with others who are walking the same path. They are held all over the Puget Sound area in various restaurants and they meet once a month. Many seniors who are living with Alzheimer’s or Dementia become isolated and do not feel comfortable in public meeting spaces due to the limitations of the disease. The restaurants who participate in the Cafés are welcoming, put together a special menu with a few choices, and create a welcoming atmosphere for the attendees.
Where can you find the location and times for Alzheimer’s Cafés? Go to Full Life Care’s website https://www.fulllifecare.org/alzcafes/. Full Life Care is a major supporter of these Cafés as well as Momentia. Momentia is a grass roots movement working toward keeping seniors with memory loss connected and active in their communities. Momentia sponsors dementia friendly events encouraging people with Alzheimer’s and Dementia to take part in walks, tours, or volunteer opportunities.
I have been to several Alzheimer’s Cafés and have been inspired by the people I have met there. This venue gives seniors the opportunity to interact with others who completely understand what living with memory loss means. There is no agenda, just a calm, welcoming and fun environment and the chance to sit and socialize. I have observed family members and caregivers sharing a wealth of information that benefits all involved. I have been blessed by life stories shared by the person who is living with the disease. Everyone at the table has a rich history and story to share.
Another resource for finding the Alzheimer’s Cafés in your community is through the Alzheimer’s Association, https://www.alzwa.org/ill_calendar/alzheimers-cafe-10/.
According to the DSHS website:
- Around 107,000 people are living with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias.
- Over 320,000 people are caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias.
- Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias are the 3rd leading cause of death.
- People with dementia will increase 180% by 2040.
Programs like the Alzheimer’s Cafés and Momentia are working to break down barriers and hoping to awaken the community in order to change their views of seniors living with Alzheimer’s or Dementia. They are helping people to learn how to embrace our fellow members of society who are affected first hand.
I challenge you to get involved. Anyone is welcome at the Alzheimer’s Café or other events sponsored by Momentia. If you have a loved one who has memory loss, bring them to an event and prevent them from becoming isolated. Help them teach others about what it is like to live with memory loss. People with Alzheimer’s or Dementia still have so much to offer. Allow them to continue to shine their light on others.