As soon as I tell them I have vascular dementia they look at me like I am crazy. I wonder what I have said or done that brings that look. I wish I had never told them. These are the words of one of Park Station’s memory café regulars. She is living the reality of stigma and shrinking social support.
A care companion reports It is a relief to spend time with others in the same boat, with similar struggles. We can talk about things that we would not share with any of many family or friends. I get to let my hair down and laugh.
The Memory Café at Park Station has met for only two months, but has generated great community participation. There was a 12% increase from August to September with people calling about September 8th’s every week since.
The memory café offers social interaction, laughter, a bit of education and a whole lot of camaraderie. There are a few memory café guidelines laid out by the Alzheimer’s Association.
Memory Café attendees need to:
• be diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment, early to middle stage Alzheimer’s disease or a related memory disorder
• have been told of their diagnosis and acknowledge their memory loss
• understand the purpose of the program, express interest and willingness to participate
• have no other medical conditions or serious mental illness which might put him/her or others at the cafe
• be a care partner (family or friend) attending with the person diagnosed with the disorder — Care partners are not required to attend but are welcomed
Memory café is for family and friends, professional attendees are limited to the sponsors.
Our Sept. 8th gathering will start with some Brain Fitness Fun with puzzles.
Dr. Cate, Dementia Coach, Assisting Hands of St Pete and Arden Courts of Largo & Seminole are sponsoring Pinellas Park’s monthly Park Station Memory Café on September 8th from 10-11:30 at Roe’s Deli, 5851 Park Blvd. N. .
Join us in sparking some neurons and stretches some brain muscles, purchase a drink, snack or meal at Roe’s and get to know one another.
RSVP to Dr. Cate, Dementia Coach @ 813 384-7571 or firstname.lastname@example.org.