Jewish Family & Children’s Service (JF&CS) congratulates Beth Soltzberg on her invitation to speak at TEDx Waltham. Beth will have the opportunity to share her knowledge on the importance of social connection, comfort and feeling of belonging for those living with dementia. Her talk will take place on Saturday, Oct. 5, at the Boston Biohub.

Beth’s work with older adults is a perfect representation of this year’s TEDx Waltham theme: going places. Providing opportunities for individuals with dementia and their care partners to make social connections helps counter the isolation that many struggle with.

During Beth’s time as the director of the JF&CS Alzheimer’s/Related Disorder Family Support Program, she has focused on addressing the needs of people living with cognitive changes by going beyond the health care sector. After learning about the memory café movement that began in Holland, Beth started the JF&CS Memory Café, and then founded the Percolator Memory Café Network. The Percolator serves as a resource for those interested in starting and sustaining memory cafés across the country, allowing members of the group to share their knowledge with others interested in supporting those with dementia.

Memory cafés give those with cognitive changes a resource to move beyond the stigmas and challenges they face. Dementia can often lead to loneliness due to social isolation, but memory cafés present the opportunity to form connections in a welcoming and supportive environment. When Beth launched the JF&CS Memory Café, there was only one other café in Massachusetts. Now, Massachusetts is leading the movement with 111 memory cafés in four languages thanks to Beth and the Percolator Memory Café Network.

For more information about the JF&CS Memory Café, visit our Alzheimer’s/Related Disorders Family Support page.

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