What’s a Memory Café?

Old caucasian happy people in cafeLoneliness is far too common when you’re living with dementia – Memory Cafés make it easy to meet people, share stories, get advice or just chat over a cuppa.

Memory Cafés came into existence in 1997, when Dutch physiatrists Dr Bère Miesen introduced the concept to end the stigma surrounding dementia. Today, Memory Cafés all around the world welcome individuals living with Alzheimer’s, dementia or other cognitive impairments, along with their families and caregivers. Here’s all you need to know about Memory Cafés in the UK.

Combating social isolation

Since the launch of the National Dementia Strategy in 2009, Memory Cafés have had a high priority in the UK as a vital support service, especially since over one million people in the country are expected to be living with dementia by 2025.

Held on a regular basis, usually once a month, at locations that are easy to access, such as libraries and community centres, Memory Cafés are free to attend and incredibly useful. They’re welcoming places that offer individuals a break from their regular routines and make for a great opportunity to meet with other people facing similar day-to-day challenges both as dementia patients and as carers. Each meet-up has trained and experienced volunteers present to answer questions and facilitate stimulating, fun activities, such as live music, sing-alongs, arts and crafts, and various games to be enjoyed in good company. Plus, there are usually snacks and refreshments too.

Committed volunteers continue to raise money to open and run new Memory Cafés across the country, and there’s even a rainbow addition to support the LGBTQ+ community.

Find a memory café in the UK

Dementia Connect is a comprehensive services directory operated by the Alzheimer’s Society. In addition to providing information about care homes and day care options based on the postcode entered, it also lists activities and social groups, including Memory Cafés in your area. Head to their website to find support near you.

Set up a memory café in the UK

You can also set up a memory café yourself and there are many organisations to help you get started. David Light and Jim Delves have written a guide to setting up a Memory Café, which has been effectively used across the country. You can download the guide from the website of Dementia Partnerships to find out how to fund and run a Memory Café long term.

Romain Coleman dementia solicitors

At Romain Coleman, we agree that no one should face dementia alone. As solicitors specialising in dementia, we understand that living with the condition is an isolating experience. Our aim is to meet you with total compassion and respect, and our experienced team of elderly care solicitors are here to support you to secure your future welfare. We do this by helping you with legal institutions like the Court of Protection and putting documents you need in place, including Lasting Power of Attorneys and Statutory Wills.

We’re also part of the Eldermera network, a dedicated, all-in-one package to coordinate all aspects of your elderly care. Find out more about this unique package at eldermera.co.uk.