Stoney River’s Memory Café is celebrating five years serving up coffee, camaraderie and so much more for those with dementia and their care partners at the March 11th Memory Café.
Hosted by Stoney River assisted living and memory support and Marshfield Area Respite Care Center, the Memory Café provides a safe environment for those with dementia and their care partners to relax and connect socially with others traveling the same journey.
While conversation and a complimentary lunch are always on the menu, monthly “specials” may include music and art, guest speakers, exercise and movement, education and other entertainment or activities—all served with a side of support and heaping helping of understanding.
In celebration of the Memory Café’s 5th anniversary, accordionist Jerry Strack will perform at the next gathering on Wednesday, March 11, from 10:30am to Noon at Zion United Methodist Church in the Fellowship Hall, 2106 N. Peach Ave. There is no cost to attend, but please RSVP by to 715-207-6423 or [email protected].
“There is a lot of talking, laughing and even crying that goes on at our Memory Cafés with little concern about feeling embarrassed or misunderstood, because everyone is in the same boat,” says Stoney River’s Memory Support Manager Elizabeth Richards. LPN. “Many participants tell us that this ‘coffee break’ is a freeing and joyful experience and that they look forward to regularly attending.”
Who will you’ll meet at the café?
At a recent Memory Café, two long-lost sisters reunited after nearly a lifetime apart. Stoney River assisted living resident Esther attended the Memory Café, and, to her surprise, her sister Irene, who also lives at Stoney River but in a separate building in memory support, was there as well.
The two sisters parted ways years ago. Esther got married and moved to Illinois to raise a family while Irene and her husband and children lived on a farm in Wisconsin. With the demands of farming, family and little opportunity to travel, the two sisters drifted apart.
The Memory Café now gives them a chance to reconnect and share joyful sister moments, such as their lovely reunion at February’s Valentine-themed Memory Café. “It was so awesome,” says Valerie Meddaugh, Stoney River’s VIVA! Life Coordinator. “Irene hugged Esther so hard at the end, they almost fell over.”
Memory Café Roots
Memory Cafés started in the Netherlands by Dr. Bere Miesen, a Dutch psychiatrist who introduced the concept in 1997 as a way to overcome the stigma associated with various forms of dementia. Today Memory Cafes, like the one in Marshfield, WI, are held all over the United States. Anyone with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, dementia or related condition as well as their family members and/or care partners are welcome to attend Stoney River’s Memory Café.
There is still a lot of living to do after diagnosis, and the Stoney River Memory Café aims to promote this notion and restore a sense of normalcy for people with memory loss and the people who love and care for them. Stoney River’s memory support team is specially trained on how best to care for those with dementia and takes the time to really get to know each person to address their individual needs and wants.
Stoney River Marshfield offers assisted living, located at 1204 W. McMillan Street, Marshfield, WI and memory support, located down the street at 1609 W. St. Joseph Ave. Residents live full and engaged lives among a community of peers and with the support needed to live as independently as possible while enjoying the award-winning VIVA! lifestyle that enhances lives, inspires joy and fosters purpose. To learn more about Stoney River’s Memory Café or Memory Support lifestyle, please visit stoneyrivermarshfield.com or call 715-207-6423.