Washington County -Its pretty easy to go run out and have fun, if you can remember how to, or have someone there to help you. That’s why a new cafe is opening in Forest Grove. It’s called Memory Cafe. It’s the first time the Memory Cafe has come to Washington county. It’s a model used nationwide, to engage our friends and family who suffer from memory loss. To get them out of the house, have some fun, and get together with others who understand what they’re going through.
Kera Magarill with Washington County says it’s all free. There will be food, coffee, and students from Pacific University will be playing a free concert. The first Memory Cafe will be held Tuesday September 24th, from 1:30pm to 3pm on Main street in Forest Grove at a place called Diversity Cafe. They’ll host Memory Cafe every 4th Tuesday of the month.
For some, it’s a place to learn more about their new diagnosis. For others, it’s a place to engage their fading memory by sharing their stories. For many, it’s one of the few places they can go without the fear of misunderstanding, judgment or stares.
Memory Café is coming to Forest Grove Tuesday, Sept. 24.
Offered by Washington County Disability, Aging and Veteran Services in partnership with Pacific University, Memory Café provides a welcoming and supportive environment for those with Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia and memory loss, as well as their caregivers.
Guests will meet from 1:30-3 p.m. at Diversity Café, 2104 Main St. in Forest Grove. The event will include complimentary coffee and cinnamon rolls, conversation, and a musical performance by Pacific University students.
“Living with dementia and caring for someone with dementia can be very isolating,” said organizer Kera Magarill, an older adult behavioral health specialist with Washington County. “Many people end up losing their family, their friends and their jobs. Memory Café is an opportunity for these individuals to share and simply to gather.”
Memory Café is based on a national model designed to provide people in the early to middle stages of dementia and their family caregivers with a safe place to talk with other people with similar diagnoses and make connections with others in the community experiencing some of the same struggles.
While the Memory Café provides a break from the routine of caregiving and living with dementia, it is not meant to be a place where caregivers drop off the person in their care.
Magarill, who organized Memory Cafés in Colorado prior to her current position with Washington County, has seen some attendees talk more than they have in a long time at these events. Other times, people choose to sit quietly and participate in tactile activities.
“Guests can participate however they feel most comfortable,” Magarill said. “There is something for everyone.”
RSVPs are not required. Those with questions can call the Family Caregiver Support Program at 503-846-3089.