Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Memory Cafes

Recently at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, some people sat around a table with Egyptian artifacts in the center. The museum people explained each item in a highly entertaining way.

One artifact was a brain hook used by Egyptian embalmers to remove the brain.

One of the participants mused, "I wish I could use it to scrape Alzheimer's off my brain."

These participants were members of a Memory Cafe--a program created by the Penn Memory Center for patients with memory issues and their caregivers.

So often, dementia leads to isolation--and this can lead to depression and anxiety,

The Memory Cafe offers a safe place for people to socialize with those who share their concerns.

This Memory Cafe thing started in 1997 in the Netherlands. It pread through Europe and came to the US in 2008.

Today there are more than 100 in this country.

Social connections, friendships are the goal. These are not really a support group gabbing about dementia or caregiving all day.

Sometimes the meetings include music. This is very soothing--everyone enjoys it.

Above all, no one has to worry about acting "weird" or being judged or disdained.

It's probably even fun.

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