Another memory cafe for Alzheimer’s socializing

A new memory cafe is opening in Gig Harbor.

Lutheran Community Services Northwest (LCSNW) hosted the first of monthly events for those experiencing memory loss along with their care partners at the Harvester Restaurant Oct. 15.  The cafe will continue to meet on the 3rd Saturday of each month.

A memory cafe is an organized social gathering for people living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias that falls somewhere between more formal support groups and just going out to a coffee shop.  “It’s a chance to socialize with people who understand, who won’t mind or even notice that you already told that story,” says Linda McCone, program assistant for Caregiver Support at LCSNW.

The cafe also provides an opportunity for caregivers to meet, to learn from and support each other and for everyone to have a good time.

Memory (or Alzheimer’s) Cafes were started in Europe to integrate people with the disease into the community.  They have caught on in the U.S. in recent years as it became evident that socialization helps those with dementia and their caregivers to cope with the effects of the disease.  Recent research studies have found that a socially integrated lifestyle in later life might actually protect against dementia.

The Memory Cafe at the Harvester is the second in Pierce County. LCSNW also hosts a gathering at Elmer’s Restaurant in Tacoma on the fouirth Wednesday of the month from 3 to 4:30 p.m.  Participants enjoy conversation over a meal sparked with games (Jeopardy is a favorite), jokes and songs.

“It’s a place where everybody knows your name,” remarked one participant.

More infomation on Pierce County Memory Cafes:

Harvester Restaurant, 5601 Soundview Dr., Gig Harbor on the 3rd Saturday, 3 – 4:30 pm

Elmer’s Restaurant, 7427 S. Hosmer St., Tacoma on the 4th Wednesday, 3 – 4:30 pm

For more information:  Contact Linda McCone, Lutheran Community Services Northwest, 253-722-5691 or