Welcome to the Memory Café/Alzheimer’s Café, starting next week!

The First Link® Memory Café, York Region and the Toronto area Memory Café start next week!

Welcome to a café style environment geared towards people diagnosed with early Alzheimer’s disease and/or related dementias, their care partners as well as those who worry about memory problems. The cafés provide a friendly atmosphere where people can socialize and share experiences over a cup of coffee or tea/refreshments.

The “café environment” idea was pioneered by Dr. Bére Miesen, a Dutch clinical psychologist in 1997, with his key message:

“Do not hide away – come and participate with us, in this safe space, and in society and life as much as you can. You did not ask to get dementia, and it could happen to any of us. Here we understand – and want to talk about it and learn to live with it.”

According to Dr Marco Blom “an Alzheimer’s Cafe is much more than a social gathering. Its purpose is to reduce the stigma surrounding dementia by facilitating social contact and providing education about dementia, for everyone affected by and interested in all types of dementia…..topics relating to dementia are presented and discussed knowledgably, sensitively and openly with people with dementia their carers/caregivers

These programs can be held in community/senior centres, clubhouses or any place with a relaxed atmosphere where individuals can socialize, play games, listen to guest speakers, and ask questions in a non-threatening environment. Support staff from the Alzheimer’s Society, social workers and other professionals are there to provide support and guidance.

According to Dementia Partnerships, a UK organization:

Peer support and social contact, without stigma, rapidly becomes the main focal point of the service…..Many people make friendships as a result and are able to support each other outside the Memory Café setting. This informal setting provides emotional support and also reduces the isolation often felt by people with dementia, their carers and families.”

We find that our own café members thoroughly enjoy themselves and many say the Memory Café feels like “home”.   We always look to have a number of interesting speakers, activities as well as outings that make our cafés a place to look forward to.  

Mosaic hosts two memory cafes one in the Toronto Area, the other in York Region.  The York Region Café is organized by the Alzheimer Society of York Region and partners with Mosaic Home Care Services & Community Resource Centre.

The First Link® Memory Café in York Region: to find out more information contact www.alzheimer-york.com or call 888-414-5550 and ask for Jonathan.    The First Link ®Memory Café at Mosaic will run the last Tuesday of each month from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.  To contact Mosaic please call 905-597-7000 for more information.

Toronto area Memory Café: last Wednesday of every month from September to May, held at Mosaic’s mid-town office at the Canadian National Institute for the Blind – Call 905-597-7000 for more information.

Cafés usually feature educational sessions from community organizations and professionals; discussion topics and conversation; a focus on the arts (music, movement and art), interesting hobbies and hands on workshops

To find an Alzheimer’s Café in your area: contact your local Alzheimer Society for Services and information. Alzheimer Society in your area at www.alzheimer.ca/on or call 800-879-4226

Jane Teasdale

Director of Business Development & Community Relations

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