Memory Cafes

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Jaden Walls (’22) ponders what it would be like to be much older.

Chloe Gee, Writer

A memory cafe is basically a gathering of people who have dementia as well as their caretakers, who get together and relax with games, music and storytelling. The idea of a memory cafe has been around since 1997, when a Dutch psychiatrist Bere Miesen had the idea for memory cafes, or alzheimer cafes. The purpose was to bring those who had dementia and those who took care of them out of their shadows.

The article talks about the struggles of dementia, as well as the struggles of those who take care of people with dementia. It talks about the mental strain that’s put on people who have to watch their loved ones suffer or fail to remember things, so memory cafes can be an uplifting setting and serve as something to help people avoid social isolation. 

The concept of a memory cafe is great, because it not only provides a safe and relaxing space for those with dementia, but also those who take care of them. It allows to ease loneliness and even share experiences, to ease the lives of both people involved. The groups organizing these meetings are nonprofit, and there are around 800, about 700 just in the United States. The fact that it’s non-profit, and helps the lives of so many people (mentally ill or not), and connects their experiences to help them feel not as alone is amazing and heartwarming. 

“I think it’s a good idea, and it could really help people who struggle with human interactions,” Avery Scanlon (’22) said.

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