There are an estimated 5.4 million people in the United States with Alzheimer's disease, and that number is expected to increase significantly with the aging of baby boomers. Alzheimer's impacts the individual, his/her care partners and other family members, as well as society at large. Despite the growing prevalence, Alzheimer's continues to be a misunderstood disease fraught with stigma, causing disconnection and isolation for the persons diagnosed, making socialization and engagement even more important.
Memory Cafés are designed to restore that normalcy and connection, providing opportunities for persons with dementia, as well as their care partners, family and friends, to meet in a supportive, safe environment that embraces conversations about dementia free of stigma and shame. The group, however, is not designed as a support group or clinical setting, but rather an opportunity to socialize and to connect with peers with similar experiences.
The Alzheimer's Association and the Pennsylvania Department of Aging is committed to combating Alzheimer's disease. And until a treatment or cure is found, we are dedicated to ensuring services like Memory Cafés -- that support individuals and families coping with dementia -- expand and flourish in Pennsylvania.
Memory Cafés can be held in a variety of settings (museums, restaurants or coffee shops, historical societies, senior centers, community centers, outdoor gardens, houses of worship, etc.), but all spaces must:
• have easy and adequate parking
• be accessible by public transportation whenever possible
• be handicapped accessible
• have adequate bathroom facilities
• maintain safety codes with fire escape and first aid kits available
• have first floor seating for up to 40 in a café style seating arrangement
• have adequate heating and air-conditioning
• have an area that provides some privacy for low noise and confidentiality
• have comfortable and adequate furniture
If you are interested in starting a Memory Café in your community, or simply want more information about this initiative, kindly fill out this form and a representative from the Alzheimer's Association will connect with you.