Join us for a cup of tea and good discussion…
The Alzheimer’s Café, an international concept that originated in the Netherlands in 1997, was launched for the first time in Edmonton by Christenson Communities in March 2012.
There is a significant need for additional social supports in Alberta for people with dementia, their families, and their caregivers. And the Alzheimer’s Café helps by providing support, advocacy, education, information, and empowerment to all of those who are affected by the disease.
The Alzheimer’s Café is a safe and relaxed place where people with dementia, their families, healthcare professionals, and experts come together for a unique blend of education, support, and light entertainment. It is a forum where people can learn, exchange experiences, and talk openly about dementia.
What can I expect at an Alzheimer’s Café?
You can leave your pocket book at home because the Alzheimer’s Café is free. Caring sponsors provide the meeting place, snacks, drinks, and music. The Cafés generally occur monthly on a weekday evening and last about two hours.
When you arrive, you will be greeted by a friendly face, who will provide you with a nametag and submit your name in a draw for a free gift. You will be escorted into a room with other people who are there for the same reason you are – they want to better understand Alzheimer’s disease and share their questions and stories.
After settling in with refreshments and a snack, talking with friends, and enjoying the music of our talented musicians, the program will begin. It might be a presentation by an expert on dementia, a caregiver, or even someone who is afflicted with the disease. Or there may be an interview or a video. The presentation part of the program usually takes about 30-40 minutes and is followed by a break. This is a great time to replenish your drink and enjoy the music while you consider the material that has been presented. At the end of the break is the discussion period, a time when guests can ask questions of the presenter or to share their own stories.
Once the formal session is completed, many people like to sit and relax and digest some of the information they have learned. There is never a hurry to leave.
What are the topics of discussion?
- The theme for the Alzheimer’s Café varies from month to month. Here are some of the topics that have been popular:
- Normal aging and dementia
- Caring for people with dementia – a caregiver’s perspective
- Understanding dementia-related behaviours
- Communication strategies
- Warning signs of dementia
- Community and supportive living programs for people with dementia
- Living with dementia
- Medications for the treatment of dementia
- Aggression and dementia
The Alzheimer’s Café has grown with the audience it serves. Each month, feedback is requested on desired themes and the organizers work hard to find experts who will speak on those themes.
In addition, there is always a multitude of brochures, information packages, and other material available at our information table.
Want to help?
The Alzheimer’s Café is run entirely by volunteers and funded 100% by sponsors. You can help by volunteering or by sponsoring an event.
And if you are a health professional or have a compelling personal story to tell about dementia, we would love to consider you as a presenter.
For more information, or to receive the Alzheimer’s Café newsletter, please contact Heather Ward at 780-341-2494 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Christenson Communities also offers home care services for those with dementia and alzheimer's. Please visit our Memory Care page for information.