Memory Cafés coming to the mountains

Oct 10, 2012

Memory Cafés, for those with memory challenges, will be launched this month in Asheville, and then hosted every month in other locations, including Haywood County.

Thanks to a Lifespan Respite grant, written by Jane Sherman of Asheville, from the North Carolina Department on Aging and Adult Services and support from Project Care and Park Ridge Health, training has been provided by Jane Sherman and her team (Mel Kelley, Pat Hilgendorf, Mary Donnelly) to staff at the Senior Resource Center in Waynesville.

The four Memory Café scheduled to open this fall are the first Memory Cafés in Western North Carolina, in fact they are the first in the region.  These Memory Cafés are borrowed from a model well established throughout Great Britain.  Each of these congregations/organization have formed a team who will host monthly Memory Café’s for those with memory challenges and their care partners, family members and friends.  These Memory Cafés are free and open to the public.

The data is clear that those with a diagnosis of any kind of cognitive impairment begin to feel cut off from their connections to community and friends.  Memory Cafés are first and foremost a place where a person with memory loss can share fun and laughter in a setting free from the stigma of decline that permeates our culture toward those with the challenges of memory loss.

The Memory Cafés will welcome those who are living with the challenges of memory loss along with their care partners. In Haywood County, the sessions will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. the first Mondays of each month, starting in January, at the Senior Resource Center, 81 Elmwood Way, in Waynesville.  The first few dates will be Monday, Jan. 7; Monday, Feb. 4; and Monday, March 4. Contact Suzanne Hendrix at or call the resource center at 452-2370.

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