• “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” - Helen Keller

    Almost a year ago, JF&CS started the second memory café in Massachusetts. Two things about the experience of launching and developing a café struck me.

    First, providers were intrigued by the name and concept, and once we built solid attendance, guests loved it. Our experience reinforced what I’d heard from others across the country – that the memory café is new and compelling. It fills a gap as a…

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  • Reach Out, Online!

    Developing and maintaining memory café membership can be much more difficult than one would imagine.  Once people come to a café, they are usually hooked, but getting new members out for the first time can be the biggest challenge faced by organizers. And when members move on because of changing care needs, the outreach and…

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  • Young volunteers are making some magic at the JF&CS Memory Café! The café just opened on March 7th—the second in Massachusetts so far—and it’s off to a strong start, in part, because of some enthusiastic student volunteers from Brandeis University (volunteers attending their May 2nd café are pictured above).

    Beth Soltzberg, who spearheaded development…

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  • A New Chapter

    Over the past several months, I have been on an extended leave while making an international move with my family. Now that we are settled, I am excited to be getting back to writing for this website, and helping in any way possible to support the expansion of social cafés for people with memory loss and their loved ones. At this time, I am looking into ways to contribute to this movement here in the San Francisco Bay Area, and will be thinking about how best to move forward with this website…

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  • How to get the word out to families - ideas?

    Hello all, Our café has been running since March, and the people who come love it.  But the core group are folks who already knew JF&CS through other programs or who are the adventuresome types!  And they are wonderful, but it's been difficult to bring in a wider circle of guests.  I'd really like to reach people who are more isolated and most need to connect with others through a café.  So far, I've been reaching out to providers, support group facilitators, etc,, and also trying to spread the…

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    Started by Beth Soltzberg 0 Replies
  • Activities at Memory Cafés

    One of our members is starting a memory café and looking for input on what activities have been successful or unsuccessful for other cafés. Any suggestions/advice?

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    Started by Debora Tingley 3 Replies · Reply by Beth Soltzberg Jun 23, 2014


Memory Café Catalyst is an online community connecting supporters of memory cafés (also called Alzheimer's cafés), which are community-building gatherings for people experiencing memory loss, their caregivers, family and friends. Are you interested in developing a café in your community? Or are you already involved with a café and looking to exchange ideas and information?


Dan Howard is now a member of Memory Café Catalyst
Sarah Wright is now a member of Memory Café Catalyst
Julie DeMarco is now a member of Memory Café Catalyst
Jamie Donchin is now a member of Memory Café Catalyst
"Hi Nancy,  
I have just joined this group as we are a new cafe start-up in Sun Prairie, WI. I am a…"
Pam Westfall is now a member of Memory Café Catalyst
Mary Ann Devig is now a member of Memory Café Catalyst
carol kilpatrick is now a member of Memory Café Catalyst


I am now working with Patricia Ris to expand the Memory Care Café program in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Within a year, we aim to have 8 weekly cafés in San Francisco and Marin Counties! 

In the News

Memory Cafe Brings Together Elderly and Caregivers (Longview, WA)...Read more at the Longview Daily News

Dementia Programs Tap into Creative Outlets (Appleton, WI)... Read more at Postcrescent.com

Alzheimer's Patients Socialize at Morris Plains' Memory Café (Morris Plains, NJ) ... Read more at DailyRecord.com

Education, Support offered at Memory Café Workshop (Hendersonville, NC)... Read more at BlueRidgeNow.com

Making a Difference: Kenneth Capron's Dementia Diagnosis Spurs Him to Create MemoryWorks (Portland Maine) ...Read more at KeepMeCurrent.com


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Don Marshall, organizer of the Alzheimer's Café in Exeter NH heard members of his café talking about how much they used to enjoy playing golf. He has now arranged for the next café to take place at a local driving range! 

At one Fox Valley Memory Café in Appleton Wisconsin, facilitators John and Susan McFadden reserve a time near the beginning of their café for people to share jokes:  "After welcoming everbody, we often have what we call 'Bad Joke Time' where people bring in their worst jokes--this is VERY popular!"

Hilda Cook, who recently started a memory café in Stamford Connecticut, says a quick phone call to members the night before their monthly get-together is appreciated and really helps boost attendance.

Ken Capron, Founder of Maine's Memory Works and organizer for several new memory cafés has a webpage on memory café activities. Croquet and bean bag baseball are ideas in the works.

Priscilla Pittman, Little Rock Memory Café: Starbucks is providing FREE coffee for our memory café each month, even though the gatherings are no longer held there.