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Thanks so much for writing a great article on J. Arthur's Memory Cafe. You really captured the essence of the family we have built here. The relationships are so close. we laugh and have fun each and every time. Even though I am a founding partner and facilitator, I truly enjoy our gatherings and walk out ever time learning new things about dementia, having a deeper relationship with each person involved and a greater appreciation for life.
Lori La Bey
Wow–what a day we had yesterday! Last month’s column by Gail Rosenblum from the Minneapolis Star Tribune really captured what the “Memory Café” concept is all about. Yesterday was our first get together following Gail’s visit, and the response to her article was huge. Our group size doubled, and we launched our 2nd Arthur’s Memory Café!
A big thank you goes to Gail for taking the time to visit our Memory Café and really capturing the essence of our group. Her article touched many. In fact, we had people who drove an hour one way just to find this type of support, and several others who drove 30-45 minutes!
Yesterday’s meeting started with everyone together, allowing those who were new to hear the original members share why they like this type of social support group. Repeatedly, members mentioned the ability to build friendships and have fun. All highlighted how nice it was to be able to focus on their relationships as a couple or family, without focusing on the disease.
The original Memory Café group now has 14-20 participants on a regular basis and the new group has 14 participants already. The original group feels a sense of pride in helping others find this wonderful support group for people who are experiencing memory loss. The only complaint we hear is that members would love to be able to meet every week!
Going forward J. Arthur’s Memory Café will be referred to as “Arthur’s Memory Café,” after the host and sponsor Arthur’s Residential Care. We meet on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month at J. Arthur’s Coffee Shop at 2441 Rice Street, in Roseville, Minnesota. If you are interested in joining us, please contact us via email at info@ArthursMemoryCafe.com or contact Sarah Abbott at 651-567-0096 .
Here is another great story of how the Memory Cafe has impacted one family.
My parents went to the Memory Cafe this week. My dad was reluctant, but said he’d try it because my mom really wanted to go. After, they got in the car and he said he really enjoyed himself and she told him that she did, too. Yesterday, I took him to lunch with a friend from high school. Out of the blue, he told my friend that he has Alzheimer’s and then told her about the memory cafe and how much he liked it. I felt the type of pride I usually have for my kids, but it was for my dad! I have never heard him talk about it!!!
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Updated Aug. 22, 2011
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