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Memory Cafes: What are they and how to they work?

Caregiving can be lonely, especially when caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or Dementia. As symptoms worsen, it can more challenging for that person to be out in the community or find activities they might enjoy.  

Memory cafes began in 1997 in Europe and are a place where caregivers and their loved ones can go to socialize, do activities together, and find community in people facing similar issues. The main difference between memory cafes and respite is that caregivers and their loved ones participate together in memory cafes. Memory cafes can be a tool for caregivers that allow older adults in their care to continue to live in place.

Most memory cafes meet monthly and can be found in senior centers, hospitals, and other places around town. There are two Memory Cafes in Washtenaw County: We Care Connect Memory Café at the Ypsilanti Senior Center and Joe’s Memory Arts Café at St. Joseph Mercy’s Towsley Health Building.  

For additional caregiver support programs, check out the Ahead of the Curve Resource Directory, talk with your local hospital, or visit Catholic Social Services’ website here.  

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Explore the Washtenaw County Senior Resource Directory

Our easy to use and regularly updated resource directory is a one-stop guide to older adult services in Washtenaw County.