By Garrett Simmons
Caring for a person with dementia can be a difficult task.
Finding resources, support or even just an opportunity to take a break can also be a challenge.
The Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) Memory Café initiative, housed out of the Taber Public Library, aims to change that.
A grant from the Rural Development Network’s (RDN) Awareness Builds Connection in Dementia Friendly Communities (ABCD) Project has made the café possible. Funded through the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Memory Café focuses on dementia prevention, reducing stigma related to dementia and supporting communities to become more dementia inclusive.
“It’s a program where people living with dementia or Alzheimer’s, and their caregivers, can come and socialize, get some resources and education, and the folks living with dementia can play some sensory games and listen to some live music that reminds them of an earlier time,” said Kaitlynn Weaver, FCSS Outreach Services Supervisor.
The ABCD Project aims to provide rural Albertan communities with a selection of evidence-based, dementia-friendly initiatives adaptable to rural settings, according to Mary McGuire, project manager for the RDN. She added Taber was one of five rural communities selected to receive $5,000 in seed funding to get projects like this one off the ground.
“Memory Cafés are very successful, specifically in rural communities,” said McGuire, who added the partnership with FCSS and the library is a perfect combination. “We’re helping folks feel connected, who are living with dementia and their care partners. It can be isolating for some folks, and you can find other folks that are experiencing the same thing, you bring in the sensory games that stimulate the cognitive piece and also, you buy books and bring these sorts of things to a community library.”
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