Thursday, April 20, 2017

Memory Cafe

Alzheimer's disease and other disorders that cause Dementia know no boundaries. They are well documented as diseases that are not a normal part of aging. They do not discriminate between rich or poor, educated or uneducated. No one is immune, and your loved one or beloved could be next.

According to research, the latest facts show that the number of Americans living with Alzheimer's disease is growing. The current statistics are one in nine people aged 65 and over have Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. By 2050, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer's disease may nearly triple, from 5.2 million to a projected 13.8 million, barring the development of medical breakthroughs to prevent or provide a cure for this disease.

Alzheimer’s can also affect people younger than age 65. Up to five percent of the more than 5 million Americans with Alzheimer’s have younger onset.

Given these statistics and the prevalence of memory loss in the general population, Cherished Memories, Inc in partnership with the Old Colony YMCA - East Bridgewater, and Stoughton is working to enrich the quality of life for those living with Alzheimer's disease and other dementia-causing disorders by offering a Memory Café within the branch.

With roots in the Netherlands, a Dutch psychiatrist named Dr. Bere Miesen, introduced the Memory Café concept in 1997 as one of the ways to break the stigma associated with Dementia and its many forms. The concept spread throughout Europe, to Ireland England and Australia and the United States.

The first Memory Café in the United States was established by Dr. Jytte Lokvig in 2008 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The American version focuses very much on the individual with memory loss. The Memory Café will provide a break or respite from the daily routine of coping with Dementia and Dementia-related stress, as well as a place where individuals with memory loss and their caregivers can come together in a safe, supportive, and engaging environment. It is a time away from medical appointments and the disease, and a place where participants can explore art, music, form friendships, people can have fun, interact, socialize, laugh, cry, find support, share concerns, and celebrate without feeling embarrassed or misunderstood.

With a focus on abilities, not disabilities, and a commitment to improving quality of life for all, the Old Colony YMCA branch in East Bridgewater, and Stoughton are ideal location(s) for a neighborhood Memory Café where friendship, love and acceptance are encouraged. It is here that dementia caregivers and those with dementia can explore art, pet therapy, music, poetry, drum circle, and socialization while forming new friendships with other like-minded people.

The Memory Café will provide the chance to have fun and curb feelings of loneliness and isolation while living in the moment. Participants will reminisce about memories, perform light exercise, and, most importantly, laugh. Let go and let flow!! If we don’t enjoy ourselves, then this activity is not worth doing.

Current research related to Alzheimer’s and dementia indicates that in addition to socialization, engagement in the arts is both important and beneficial. Music, painting, a palette of water color paints and a blank sheet of paper, poetry, and other forms of art can have a profound impact on the brain.

Our first Memory Café was a great success in East Bridgewater. We are now branching out with the Memory Café to the Stoughton YMCA. The next meet of the Memory Cafe presented by Cherished Memories, Inc at the Old Colony YMCA - East Bridgewater and in Stoughton is held on May 27, 2017. Guests must be accompanied by a family member or caregiver. The event is free and open to the general public.

To register contact Mary McElligott 617 688 4555 and or email:

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