Almost a year ago, JF&CS started the second memory café in Massachusetts. A memory café is a welcoming, social gathering for people with dementia and their care partners.
Memory cafés have spread across Europe and recently across the US. Each café looks different. They meet in coffee shops, museums, social service agencies, houses of worship, and libraries. Their common threads are a focus on the enduring personhood of those with dementia rather than on the disease and a chance for those with dementia and their care partners to enjoy socializing without worry of stigma or judgment. Memory cafés help keep the growing number of families affected by dementia woven into the fabric of community life.
A large number of café “regulars” now value the JF&CS Memory Café as a highlight of their month. But more memory cafés are needed across our state. Each should be unique and tailored to the needs and style of its neighborhood.
With this aim, JF&CS has launched the memory café Percolator network. The “Percolator” network meets quarterly to enable those starting or running memory cafés to share resources and ideas.