Imagine getting a cup of coffee with a friend and enjoying the afternoon’s live entertainment. For caregivers and their loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, such a simple reality can be hard. A group of Villagers hope to change that by providing a memory café, a coffee shop atmosphere for caregivers and loved ones to enjoy a beverage, catch up with friends and meet new ones. “The need for socialization is really on both sides,” said Richard Boyden, a certified dementia practitioner from the Village of Osceola Hills. “The lack of socialization increases the degrade of dementia on the person being cared for, but by the same token the lack of socialization on the part of the caregiver also has its effect.” Unlike a respite or support group, a memory café is for both the caregiver and the person cared for. It’s a welcoming environment free from stigma and one that doesn’t focus on the disease, said Boyden’s wife, Joan Bender, a certified dementia practitioner.
Read this story and many others in Friday’s edition of the Daily Sun.