First Link® Memory Café – A First of its Kind in the Greater Toronto Area

October 6, 2014 in Alzheimer's & Dementia, Events |

Mosaic is not just a homecare company, it is a part of the community, just like every one of its family members.   Integral to its ethos are its Community Resource and Information Centres located at each of its GTA locations.

Through its community outreach Mosaic provides its family members and its community with access to a variety of events and important information. Providing events like the weekly knitting group and educational ones like the upcoming “Skinny on Nutrition”, is part of Mosaic’s commitment to nurturing vital social links to community resources and activities. These events provide a place for people to learn new things, to meet new people and to socialize. 

The First Link® Memory Café hosted by the Alzheimer’s Society of York Region at Mosaic is one of the unique events that Mosaic offers the community. The Memory Café is a place where people with early Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia can sit down, have a tea or coffee and socialize. The relaxed atmosphere of the Café gives people a chance to socialize, play games, listen to guest speakers, find support and guidance and ask questions. I was able to catch the return of the First Link® Memory Café in late September and was able to participate with the others.

Developed in the Netherlands in 1997 by Dr. Bère Miesen, the idea of the Memory Café or Alzheimer’s Café has spread across the world. Miesen understood the importance of social connection in dealing with Alzheimer’s and dementia, and opened up a café for people to socialize and come together in a community setting. The Memory Café’s spread across the world, especially in the U.S and in the U.K., and in 2012 it was brought to Toronto through Mosaic and the Alzheimer’s Society of York Region.

Mosaic was approached by the Alzheimer’s Society of York Region in 2012 to help run a Memory Café. As a leader in the community with its resource centre, free educational events, and relaxed atmosphere, Mosaic was the perfect choice for the Alzheimer’s Society of York Region to host the Memory Café. The relaxed, friendly, community atmosphere of Mosaic provides the perfect setting to guide individuals as they travel through each stage of dementia or Alzheimer’s. Entering its third year, I was able to sit in and participate in the First Link® Memory Café to experience it first-hand.

Hosted by Trevor from the Alzheimer’s Society York Region, 15 of us took a seat with a plate of fruits and vegetables, and our choice of tea or coffee.

Once everyone was settled, Trevor led us in a special game of “hot-potato”. Two balloons were passed around, each balloon with three words written on it. One balloon had the words “born”, “holiday”, and “vacation” the other had “movie”, “music” and “food”. Trevor would then play classical music as the group passed the balloons on. As the music stopped, whoever was holding a balloon would have to describe a memory they have that had to do with one of the words on the balloon. Everyone took turns and participated in sharing their memories and experiences. The opportunity to share these memories means a lot to the people attending the café. As the group socialized after Trevor’s unique take on “hot-potato” many of the participants told me how much the program meant to them by giving them a place to talk, learn and meet others.

The first of its kind in Toronto, the First Link® Memory Café is a perfect example of Mosaic’s commitment to the community. The relaxed and friendly environment provided by at Mosaic’s resource centre helps the Alzheimer’s Society of York Region guide people through the stages of dementia, while making a positive difference for them.

If you would like to find out more about the events we host at Mosaic, check out of events page. For more information on the First Link® Memory Café contact Mosaic at 905-597-7000 or email at info@mosaichomecare.com. You can also contact Trevor at the Alzheimer’s Society of York Region at 888-414-5550


Jane Teasdale from Mosaic, Trevor from the Alzheimer’s Society of York Region, pose for a picture to Andy, John and Jerard after the First Link® Memory Café

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