Abington Journal

Memory Cafe provides resource for those with Alzheimer’s Disease

CLARKS SUMMIT — The Memory Cafe at the Gathering Place is developing into both a community and personal asset for those in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Gathering Place board members and cafe organizers have assembled a team of professionals who have created a comfortable environment where those experiencing memory loss and their care companions can share a cup of coffee and socialize with others. They can explore art, music, light exercise, play games or just enjoy being with others.

“We are thrilled with the response that the Memory Cafe has received in the several months that it has been serving the community,” Paula Baillie, Gathering Place board member and program coordinator wrote in a press release. “We have expanded the needs we address as situations arise and we can tap into additional community resources. Chair yoga, taught by Peggy Voice, is now available and we also have various professionals come and address physical adjustments to the home that will often make it safe for both the individual with Alzheimer’s and their care companion. Great tips have included installing several grab bars in the bathrooms, checking for slippery surfaces throughout the house and then specifically addressing the needs and behaviors of the loved ones, including if they wander, get up during the night or have trouble with stairs.”

Memory Cafe representatives have partnered with students from The University of Scranton Occupational Therapy Graduate Program, with Verna Eschenfelder, Ph.D. OTR department Assistant Director as well as students from the Physical Therapy program with Barbara Wagner, DPT. The regional Alzheimer’s Association office is a great resource for participants.

The Memory Cafe meets from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on the second Friday of each month. The next meeting is May 11 at The Gathering Place for Community, Art & Education, 304 S. State St.

The Memory Cafe is a place where individuals with memory loss and their caregivers or families can get together in a safe, supportive, and engaging environment. People can interact, find support, share concerns, and celebrate without feeling embarrassed or misunderstood. Friendship and acceptance are encouraged.

Anyone interested in attending is asked to contact Paula at 570-575-0384 or Anne at 570-881-7612. or email The Gathering Place at gatheringplacecs@gmail.com.

The Gathering Place Memory Cafe’s strength as a resource for individuals with early onset Alzheimer’s Disease and their care companions is due to the many professionals who have collaborated on the program. University of Scranton Occupational Therapy graduate students complete an activity with cafe participants. From left, are Laura A. Bianciella, Nathan Cardona and Erin N. Mannion. Absent at the time of photo was Stephanie Cillo.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/web1_ABJ-Memory-Cafe.jpgThe Gathering Place Memory Cafe’s strength as a resource for individuals with early onset Alzheimer’s Disease and their care companions is due to the many professionals who have collaborated on the program. University of Scranton Occupational Therapy graduate students complete an activity with cafe participants. From left, are Laura A. Bianciella, Nathan Cardona and Erin N. Mannion. Absent at the time of photo was Stephanie Cillo. Submitted photo