Best 4 Memory Cafe Startup Guides

“The KalendarKards Memory Cafe Startup Guide assembles the best four perspectives to support a variety of needs in setting up your own Memory Cafe”

Regular customers and KalendarKards’ followers know our passion for helping caregivers who support those with cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s and any of the dementias. That’s one reason we created the Memory Cafe Directory. We saw the value Memory Cafes hold for participants and wanted everyone to know about them.

Memory Cafe Directory Map URLMemory Cafe Directory is a wonderful resource for those looking for a Memory Cafe in their own area or wanting to list their Memory Cafe to allow others to participate.

With nearly 300 listings already, we believe we are providing great value to those involved with existing Memory Cafes.

You can read our original announcement about the Memory Cafe Directory here.

But what about those of you wanting to start a new Memory Cafe?

Memory Cafe Startup Guide

Our first goal was to get the Memory Cafe Directory started, fill it with as many listings as we could, and start helping as many people as possible who could benefit from the Memory Cafe experience.

Now, it’s time to help those of you wishing to start your own Memory Cafes. But first, it makes sense to explain our rationale for how we compiled this guide.

There are many wonderful organizations doing great work in their communities. For those involved with Memory Cafes, a large number of those groups have published their own startup guides. Instead of publishing yet another guide, we thought it would be more valuable to review our favorites and let you decide which approach (or approaches) work best for you.

As you can see below, we show them in alphabetical order. THIS IS NOT A RANKED LIST! Each one is powerful, but each has its own perspectives. We simply list them alphabetically. You are welcome (and encouraged!) to download each one and apply the topics that relate the best to your situation. More heads are better than one, right?

You’ll see the name of the organization, a summary of the guide and its unique traits, along with a link to the organization’s web site or to the guide directly.

By providing you with this collection of information, we believe it is a better way to help you get started – by helping you obtain the best information that is right FOR YOU!

Memory Cafe Startup Resources

Alzheimer’s Speaks

Alzheimers Speaks Lori La BeyLori La Bey is a trusted advisor to our Memory Cafe Directory. Through her work to teach and share, she has been called the “Oprah of Alzheimer’s.”

Through her Alzheimer’s Speaks web site, she specializes in the areas of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, caregiving, ageism, ethics, healthcare delivery systems, and senior housing. See her Cafe Toolkit for a wide variety of general resources.

Dementia Partnerships

Dementia PartnershipsAs a consultancy based in the U.K., Knowledge and Innovation Partnerships Ltd. is devoted to improving health care. Dementia Partnerships is the portal they use to share their knowledge and experience to help improve services and promote living well with dementia.

Their Guide to Setting Up a Memory Cafe is less a “step-by-step cookbook” and more of an in-depth text book. Although not as lengthy as the text books we remember, their Guide contains 11 sections, spanning 23 pages. Sections cover the who is, the why it’s important, the delivery, and the best practices. They even provide a sample survey you can use once you’re up and running to make sure you’re addressing your participants’ needs. The extensive collection of sample spreadsheet formats for planning costs, projecting cash flows, and tracking budgets make this a very comprehensive resource.

Massachusetts Association of Councils on Aging
Jewish Family and Children’s Services (Boston)

Don’t pass by this one, just because you don’t live in Massachusetts. Funded by MACA, and produced by JF&CS, the Massachusetts Memory Cafe Toolkit provides a deeply professional perspective, valuable to anyone in any locale.

The extensive collection of downloadable forms are the heart and soul of this guide. Just a few of the forms cover areas such as planning worksheets, sample flyers, volunteer tips, guest artist suggestions, outreach ideas, and even a suggested list of items needed to get your Memory Cafe started. Many more downloadable forms are offered in the overall guide.

Third Age Services

Third Age ServicesBased in Dallas, Texas, Third Age Services are professionals who support individuals with their financial and daily living needs. Their personalized services come from personal experiences: they have parents in their 80’s. As independent agents, they can provide wide ranging, impartial solutions to questions and challenges.

Their Neighborhood Memory Cafe Toolkit is a straightforward, almost step-by-step format to helping you get started. Although not updated since 2012, we found it to still be a very relevant and straightforward template. After a short bit of Memory Cafe history and background, they jump right into it, beginning with the “Nuts and Bolts” section of steps. Other sections expand on areas relating to budget, marketing, and Cafe activities. Finally, they provide a nice sample of a simple Memory Cafe Flyer.

KalendarKards Memory Support System

Our passion lies squarely for helping caregivers who support those with cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s and any of the dementias. It was a family member who was experiencing these challenges for which KalendarKards was created. We are proud to say KalendarKards is still helping her, and is helping many, many others as well.

Why we developed KalendarKards

Memory Cafes and KalendarKards are completely different in the way they help, but not unlike each other in one very important aspect: we all help foster improved comfort and confidence through enhanced engagement in the surrounding community.

If you know someone who could benefit from our Memory Support System, helping them stay on track throughout the day, please tell them about KalendarKards.

Special Memory Cafe Discounts

We love our Memory Cafe community and want to assist in any way we can. One way is by offering a 10% discount for anyone who is associated with a local Memory Cafe.

Simply use Promo Code MEMORYCAFE at checkout on and receive 10% off your entire order. This code is valid any day, at any time, for any person. Share it with your friends and tell them your Memory Cafe helped them get a discount!

Memory Cafe Fundraising

Memory Cafe Fundraising IdeasTo take the Memory Cafe support even further, visit our KalendarKards Philanthropy Program to learn more about how we can help you fund the operation of your new Memory Cafe.

We want to help you help others!


To wrap up, we have a few questions for you:

  • Which of the Memory Cafe Startup Guides shown above did you find to be most valuable to you?Tell us why so we can continue to refine our review of each one. The better we can tell the story about each guide, the more people we can assist. Drop us a note, or better yet, post your comment below.
  • Is there another Memory Cafe Startup Guide you found useful?Let us know and we’ll look at adding it to our collection.
  • Are you a professional who has created a Memory Cafe Startup Guide?Please get in touch if you would like us to add it to our listing.
  • Is your Memory Cafe listed?If not, let us know and we’ll get it published on Memory Cafe Directory right away.

And don’t forget, once you get your own Memory Cafe started, be sure to come back to Memory Cafe Directory, tell us about your Memory Cafe, and we’ll get it listed for everyone to see!

The more, the merrier, right?

David L. Wiederrich
CEO and Co-Founder
KalendarKards LLC

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