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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  • You might want to invest in "The Alzheimer's Creativity Project" (ISBN-13: 978-0971039025) and "Dementia Arts" (ISBN-13: 978-1938870118) - We use both extensively at our cafe.

  • Love to hear what people are doing--thanks for sharing and updating! Robert, where do you get your old radio shows?

  • Hi Deb - it's been a while since i frst posted. We have continued with the music but had to get licensing for using the music. The folks love sing-alongs - especially seasonal songs. And adult coloring books (cheap markers on Amazon). Some craft work - dream catchers. Would love to do quilting and hooked rug kits.

    I am seriously considering trying a dollhouse construction project. With help of volunteers we could even electrify it. Then we could sell it at a Christmas fair and the cafe would earn money for another project.

    Another resellable would be Xmas/Hanukkah decorations.

    Where are all the men with memory problems???

  • Hi: We've been in business for 7 months now, and our sessions of 2 hours include 6 basic activities: Casual conversation, moderated conversation on a topic, snacks, crafts, a singalong, and a miscellaneous 15-25 minute period of old movies and radio shows, movement (dance, marching,hokey pokey) etc. It's really easy to fill 2 hours sometimes with just one or two of the above. We just go with their flow sometimes; activities you've prepared for can wait till next time. The starter kit available online has lots of good ideas.

    Have fun!

    Tom Schlaudecker

    Memory Café of Erie Pa.

  • We have a guest artist come each month, which our guests seem to really enjoy.  However, we also keep about 1/3 of the Café time free just to socialize.  I've created a "discussion box" for each table, with index cards that have fun discussion prompts on them.  Our volunteers especially seem to like these.  They can just open up the box and find something to kick off a discussion with their tablemates.

  • Thanks for sharing Ken! Let us know how these games and crafts projects work out. An Exercise Café is definitely thinking outside the box--love it!

  • I'm going to be trying out the RememberMe puzzles from Springbok; the Stained Glass Art Marker coloring books; and Paper Jewelry - all arts & crafts. Plus there are nostalgic games like trying to find words within a word (how many can you find?).

    We've had a cardiologist talk about diet and exercise; a story-teller recite anecdotal stories; lots of interest in screening literature.

    We are looking to connect with a MOG - Medically Oriented Gym - to do an Exercise Café. Some MediCare Advantage plans let you buy a rider for a gym membership.

    Keep up the good work Deb!

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