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Join us at the first Memory Café in Green County!

Wednesday, May 11th at 1:30 pm

As we age, we all change. Maybe, we don’t climb ladders anymore, we make more lists, or we stop driving at night; ultimately, we adapt and grow to the new person we have become.   One challenging, and less talked about, way many people change is when they are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease the most common cause of dementia.

In Wisconsin, it is estimated that there are 110,000 individuals 65 and older living with Alzheimer’s, most of who still live at home. That is over 100,000 friends, neighbors, co-workers, parents, and spouses who are struggling not only with memory changes, but also the loneliness and isolation so many seniors face.

Nobody wants to feel isolated and alone, but for people with dementia, loneliness can be one of the most common and painful effects. “We too often think of all the things that people with dementia cannot do,” says Whitney Thompson, Dementia Care Specialist for the ADRC of Southwest Wisconsin, “we need to start focusing on what they can do.”

Therefore, in an effort to grow Green County’s Dementia Friendly Initiative, Thompson teamed up with Linda Vetterli to start the first Memory Café. Vetterli, a retired Medical Assistant with Monroe Clinic, fully understands the challenges that families and spouses go through after her husband was diagnosed and she became his primary caregiver for the last years of his life.

“As a caregiver, I searched diligently for support,” says Vetterli, “I am happy to see an increase in the availability, and honored to be a part of it!”

Memory Cafe. Linda and Whitney

So what exactly is a Memory Café and how does it work?

A Memory Café is a social gathering for individuals living with memory loss, early stage dementia including Alzheimer’s, and their family and friends. It will be a time to gather for laughter, relaxation, activities, and companionship.  It is not an educational workshop about dementia.  It is a fun, welcoming, friendly environment where everyone will be accepted and no one will feel alone.

It will be held the second Wednesday of each month at Blends & Friends Café located inside the Behring Senior Center at 1113 10th Street, Monroe.  Drop-ins are welcome, but if you are planning to attend or have questions, please do not hesitate to contact Whitney Thompson, Dementia Care Specialist for the ADRC at 608-426-4295 or wthompson@gchsd.org.

Taking the first step can be hard. “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step,” Martin Luther King Jr.

 

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