KalendarKards LLC Announces
National Memory Cafe Directory
KalendarKards is passionate about helping caregivers and their loved ones restore comfort and confidence through the KalendarKards Memory Support System. Our goal is to help retain independence, allowing “Karders” to remain in their own home for as long as possible.
We recognize there are many who share our passion, and we enjoy showcasing great products and services in our Trusted Partners section of our web site. Trusted Partners is a growing section of innovative and effective products and services that we happen to like. We hope they are valuable to you.
Introducing Memory Cafe Directory
It is with great pleasure that we announce Memory Cafe Directory! (www.MemoryCafeDirectory.com) This is a national directory of Memory Cafes, showing locations, schedules, and contact information.
While we show it in Trusted Partners, it is actually our own project!
KalendarKards was asked to participate in a symposium to explore interest in a local Memory Cafe. There was plenty of education about the topic, delivered by many talented professionals. Local leaders painted an exciting picture of their vision for their local Memory Cafe. And of course, there was a large room of people who were in!
After the event, we at KalendarKards were among the participants who were enamored with the idea and started researching Memory Cafes. While we found plenty of historical information, along with many individual local and regional listings, it didn’t appear there was a comprehensive, national directory.
So we created one!
What is a Memory Cafe?
It would make sense to first define a Memory Cafe. It would be cheating to say, “it all depends.” However, it is true that each Memory Cafe is just a bit different.
Generally, a Memory Cafe is a social experience. It allows those with memory challenges and their caregivers to enjoy an outing in a “cognitive impairment-friendly” environment.
It’s important to note Memory Cafes are not just for individuals with Alzheimer’s, or any of the other Dementias for that matter. Memory impairment is memory impairment – and Memory Cafes allow those dealing with these challenges (and their caregivers!) to enjoy an outing designed just for them.
Where Are They Found?
Memory Cafes shown in MemoryCafeDirectory.com are based in a wonderfully diverse set of venues. Yes, coffee shops are common, but community centers, assisted living locations, museums, and many more all house these comforting experiences.
The reason they can be so different is not just the varying venue types, but they can include activities ranging from art to music and from crafts to storytelling. Anything stimulating – in a comforting sort of way – is fair game.
Organizers often coordinate their schedules with nearby Memory Cafes to prevent conflicts. This can prevent attendees from needing to “choose” which one to attend. By having regional Cafes taking place at various times throughout the month, participants can enjoy regular outings on a rotating basis.
Normally ranging from 2-3 hours, they make a nice outing, without being a burden on either participant.
Memory Cafes found their start in the Netherlands. Dr. Bere Miesen, a Dutch psychiatrist, wanted to remove the stigma associated with dementia. It was thought to be a topic that just wasn’t discussed, and Dr. Miesen aimed to change that.
In 1997, Dr. Miesen started the first Memory Cafe and the concept was quickly replicated by others. Cafes spread to England, Belgium, Sweden, France and Indonesia, and of course, the United States.
It is believed the first Memory Cafe in the U.S. was started in Santa Fe, New Mexico by Dr. Jytte Lokvig in 2008. In 2011, AARP published a Bulletin about her efforts and “the secret was out!” Fortunately, Memory Cafe growth continues today.
There are hundreds of Memory Cafes operating in the U.S. today. However, without a centralized, national directory it is hard to pinpoint that number, not to mention easily finding one near you.
That is why we created Memory Cafe Directory! We wanted to provide a simple, comprehensive, and definitive resource for those looking for a safe, comforting, and rewarding experience.
Simple but Powerful
The Memory Cafe Directory is a simple, but very powerful resource. With just one click to select your state from the map, you can see Memory Cafes near you. They are displayed in a simple list, ordered by city.
In some states with many cafes in many cities, we provide a short list of “Quick Links” at the top. These are shortcuts to take you to that point on the page, saving you from scrolling down a long listing.
The power comes from the benefits participants receive – for both new and ongoing visitors. If you have not yet visited a Memory Cafe, the Memory Cafe Directory gives you the visibility into where one might be close to you. If you have a favorite Memory Cafe, the Directory allows you to easily share your knowledge with others, and of course the wonderful experiences you enjoy.
Advisors and Contributors
KalendarKards is very pleased to have two outstanding professionals on board to act as Advisors to Memory Cafe Directory. Their insights into the Memory Cafe trend along with their ability to reach many people who can benefit becomes a powerful “one-two punch!”
Lori La Bey is the founder of Alzheimer’s Speaks resource web site and is the creator and host of the very popular Alzheimer’s Speaks Radio program. Her goal is to “give voice to those afflicted with memory loss and empower them to live purpose-filled lives.”
KalendarKards is proud to be a past guest of Lori on her radio show. You can listen to our interview here. (Hint: there’s a discount code mentioned for 20% off a KalendarKards purchase. Thank you, Lori!)
As an accomplished keynote speaker, Lori advocates for dementia-friendly environments and offers programs to help businesses, communities, and individuals along that path.
Lori La Bey has worked hard promoting Memory Cafes herself. You can learn more about her work in this area on her Alzheimer’s Speaks web site.
Memory Guides is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, helping individuals caring for loved ones with various forms of memory loss. At no cost to clients, they develop a personal plan, make connections with professionals, and stay along side during the process.
Marshall and his colleagues at Memory Guides have lived through experiences with one common theme: CRISIS with a loved one! Their first-hand experiences help guide families along a difficult path, but use their perspectives to prepare for and where possible, avoid potholes along the road.
One of the many ways they provide support, is through the operation of Memory Cafes in Southern California. Throughout San Diego County, their cafes are offered in a variety of settings, in a nicely varied schedule, allowing maximum participation. You can learn more about their locations in the San Diego County section of the California Memory Cafe Directory page.
We Need Your Help!
KalendarKards is honored to be able to provide this national resource. We have the ability to manage the Memory Cafe Directory site and update the information. In addition, we have great support from Lori and Marshall, but your help is critical!
- Any time you learn of a Memory Cafe in your area, please let us know. We will add it to the Directory with all the appropriate scheduling and contact information associated with that Cafe.
- If you are part of an ongoing Cafe and something changes (location, time, day of the week, etc.) please let us know. It is critical that we keep the information current for the benefit of those seeking a Memory Cafe experience.
Having a National Memory Cafe Directory is important, but growing the listings and keeping them current is critical. We want this to be a valuable resource for many, and you can help us do that!
Share Your Experience
We would love to know about your experiences at a Memory Cafe.
- Have you visited a Memory Cafe?
- Do you coordinate a Memory Cafe?
- Are you a business owner who hosts a Memory Cafe?
Each of you have unique perspectives about your past or current experiences with a Memory Cafe. Feel free to share your stories in the comments below. If you prefer, you can post to the KalendarKards Facebook page or our Twitter profile.
The more color that can be added to the Memory Cafe picture, the better the masterpiece will be for everyone!
Spread the Word!
Please take a moment to share this post with your friends. (Sharing buttons are shown below.) We at KalendarKards want as many people to know about the Memory Cafe Directory as possible. The more who know, the more who will use it. The more who use it, the more who will benefit.
The more who know, the more who will use it. The more who use it, the more who will benefit.
We will be adding more resources to the Memory Cafe Directory over time. That will include links to advice on how to create your own Memory Cafe, how to maximize the benefits, and any other information that might be valuable to you.
If you have a suggestion for how the Memory Cafe Directory can be improved, just let us know. We want to keep it simple, but we also want it to be the best possible resource it can be.