Seniors Helping Seniors of Greater Boston sponsored a local Memory Café on April 7th at Jewish Family & Children’s Services (JF&CS) in Waltham. A group of over forty people, both with and without memory impairment, were actively engaged in a vigorous dance routine, all while sitting down in their chairs! The theme of the Memory Café was dance and movement and was led by resident JF&CS dance instructor Art Sullivan. Participants learned new dance routines, sang along to classics, worked up a sweat, and most importantly had fun! The two-hour memory Café was comprised of a 45 minute dance workout and a breakfast social for participants to meet and connect with one another.
Memory Cafés are a relatively new concept. They are designed to be safe and inviting spaces for those with memory impairment and their care partners (family member, companion, etc), to connect with others who are also living with memory impairment in a judgement-free zone. When designed thoughtfully, it should be hard to tell who is living with the disease and who is the companion. Each Memory Café focuses on interactive themes including music, storytelling, arts and crafts, and many other creative outlets.
Memory Cafés are special because they can be anywhere; from a community space to a coffee shop. While the social aspect is important, there is also a strong focus on therapeutic arts and reminiscing, which are key focus areas for those with memory impairment. Memory Cafés are drawing people of all ages; from young children to college students to seniors. They’re an uplifting experience that highlights what people can do, and not their deficits. We find these programs very beneficial which is why we participate in Memory Cafés throughout the Greater Boston area. Memory Cafés help those with memory impairment and their loved ones focus on the bright side of what can be a dark disease.
Join us at the next Memory Café in your area. To learn about all the Memory Cafés taking place in Newton, Brookline, Wellesley and more towns in our area, click here.