Crowdfunding backs memory cafe project

Lutheran Community Services Northwest (LCSNW) has established a crowdfunding campaign through We Raise Wheatridge to raise a minimum of $6,000 by Nov. 1 in order to establish three memory cafes, especially in rural areas of Pierce County.
Nearly every family has been impacted by the rise in the number of persons with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Memory Cafes are monthly gatherings for individuals with memory loss and their care partners in a safe and supportive public environment. By participating in Memory Cafes, persons with Alzheimer’s or other dementias are no longer confined to their home, LCSNW officials explained.
Anyone interested in making a pledge through the “No Longer Invisible: Memory Cafes for Pierce County” campaign can go to the web page for the project at—Memory-Cafes-for-Pierce-County, clicking on the green “Contribute” button, and following the directions.
Research from the Alzheimer’s Association shows that socialization, intellectual and physical activity have a major impact on the severity and progression of dementia. And just as important, LCSNW points out, socialization opportunities in the public arena go a long way toward reducing the stigma associated with dementia. Memory cafes in other areas have been shown to build awareness in the general public and create community among dementia sufferers and their care partners while reducing stress through camaraderie.
While memory cafes exist and have experienced much success in King County, there are none in Pierce County. Currently, the only socialization activity in Pierce is the Early Stage Memory Loss Zoo Walk, coordinated by LCSNW in collaboration with the local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association and utilizing volunteers from local churches. LCSNW’s program assistant for caregiver services, Linda McCone, who coordinates the Zoo Walk program and also runs an Alzheimer’s caregiver support group, said it’s clear “in my support group and with those who attend the Zoo Walk that care partners and those with dementia are all hungry for more social activities and social interaction. It is also clear that care partners and those with memory loss need to have something they can do together, in or near their own neighborhood.”
LCSNW’s goal is to launch memory cafes in Pierce County with three initial sites and to collaborate with other agencies and area churches to ensure success of the project once it is funded.