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 word through cable TV shows and local papers, where I can describe the café in greater detail. 

I'd love any responses to these two questions:

- Have you found any great approaches for getting the word out?

- How long did it take for your café to establish solid attendance, and how many guests do you usually get?

Thanks so much!

Beth

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Replies

  • I just wanted to add that here in the San Francisco Bay Area we get a lot of referrals to our cafes from social workers at memory diagnostic centers. If you live in a more rural area, try connecting with any physicians offices where cognitive diagnoses are being made.

  • We have been running for about 3 years and attendance ranges from 10-20, with an average of 14-18 I'd say. We have found that you have to market the cafes constantly since attendees may stop attending because it's no longer a good fit. Some of our best efforts have been partnering with our Aging and Disability Resource Centers and the Alzheimer's Association. They gladly share about our memory cafes. We also have had a few newspaper articles and most recently, a news segment on our memory cafes.

  • I've tried mailngs to churches, agencies, small ads in our senior news, a few articles in our paper, posters in the libraries and senior residences. We're getting just a few at each session. This is enough to keep us going but it is frustrating. Fortunately ours isn't   a numbers game. Hang in there. We've been open for 8 months. Tomorrow I'm going to make a pitch at a meeting sponsored by the local Alzheimer's Assn.

    Tom

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