Eileen and Dubh
Eileen and Dubhg, moving memory cafes online

Memory cafes or Dementia cafes are a concept that have been providing opportunities for socialising, support and engagement within the local community. A regular community café or other venues hosts these – with people hearing about the time, and choosing to attend to catch up with people who might be able to share and understand their situation. People describe this as being lower stress than other community get togethers and can provide a useful way to share experiences, support each other and not feel alone in the experience of living with dementia or supporting someone who is living with dementia.

With the social, or rather, physical distancing requirements in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, Memory Cafes across Australia and the world have needed to close for now. Eileen and Dubhglas Taylor have decided that technology may enable at least some of the benefits of Memory Cafes to continue. They are hosting Memory Café get togethers via the zoom platform with the first being held on April 9th. It is hoped that virtually sharing a cuppa and a chat online will help people to connect and not feel so alone as they stay home and change many of their routines and pause many social engagements.

Eileen and Dubhg explain that the Dementia café aims to help minimise loneliness and isolation, build relationships, learn skills and stimulate the mind, and increase motivation and well-being. People living with dementia, with mild cognitive impairment and family members are welcome to attend. People who are interested can make contact via daatoz[at]outlook.com or contact DAAT on Facebook messenger.

Eileen and Dubhg are active members of the Florence Project Lived Experience Expert reference group, and very involved in a range of other dementia advocacy roles including with the Dementia Awareness Advocacy Team (DAAT), Dementia Alliance International (DAI) and Dementia Australia.

Author: Jacki Liddle, 17 April 2020