On the 2nd of May we saw the launch of Home Instead’s Memory Cafe at the Rose Theatre in Kingston. The idea of our memory cafe came about because of the needs of a client's daughter. She couldn't find anywhere to go in Kingston with her mother that would be stimulating for Mum and her dementia, and an environment that didn't feel institutionalised for her... and where she could get good coffee!
Other than the brilliant Age Concern's Saturday club, there isn’t much else out there.
We are so glad that our constant two way conversations with our clients, has resulted in her wishes coming to life at the Rose Theatre fortnightly.
With a dramatic and creative backdrop, the Swallow Cafe at the Rose, played host to the inaugural gathering of Kingstonians interested in our concept.
Officially opened by the Mayor, Councillor Penny Sheldon, Penny expressed her excitement at Kingston having a new service for people with dementia. Penny congratulated Home Instead saying what we have done for Kingston is incredible!!
Local Councillors, GPs, and representatives from the Alzheimer's Society, Healthwatch Kingston, the MS Society, Amy Woodgate Resource Centre, the Rotary Club and the UKHCA all joined us in celebrating the start of something great for the borough.
Clare Jefferies, owner of Home Instead - Wimbledon & Kingston couldn't contain her excitement. "Just seeing our client David sitting engrossed in a copy of The Times from 1953 - the year his daughter was born, brought it all to life. Dementia can be terrifying for those with it and their loved ones watching on. To offer a bit of time in the week, in an elegant, creative and safe environment for both, is so simple to offer and I am delighted that it's finally here.”
Clare added, "A number of people asked who was funding this venture and my very simple response was - Me! I can't wait for the powers that be in Kingston to get on board. Services like this are needed now. I was originally only thinking about my clients and their needs, and then quickly realised that this should be for anyone in Kingston."
The memory cafés will recognise that not everyone over a certain age wants to be regarded as old, so the activities each time will be mindful and respectful of who these people are and the amazing lives they've had, recognising that although dementia may be doing its best to overshadow the person within, we know that with a bit of gentle encouragement, these amazing people are still in there, trying to make sense of their very confusing world. We will help them reminisce to times they can remember, forgetting about the fast pace world that is the here and now.
If you missed the launch, here is a peek at the wonderful day we shared with our community. Watch it here: http://youtu.be/ptbwR2JcYWU
We hope that you will tell all your friends about our new Memory Cafe. It's on the first and third Friday of every month from 10:00-12:00 and 14:00-16:00. See you at the Rose Theatre!