• 75°

Groups partner for ‘Memory Café’

Homestead Hospice and Senior Adults Living Triumphantly (SALT) partnered together on Feb. 21 to bring the Memory Care Café to Demopolis, giving caregivers of loved ones with memory loss a two-hour period where they can enjoy each other’s company and support. Educational materials were also provided to the participants.

Melissa Ball, volunteer coordinator with Homestead Hospice, coordinated Memory Care Café.

Melissa Ball, volunteer coordinator with Homestead Hospice, said the event was a combination support group and educational session, as participants were able to share their stories with one another while learning of other ways to care for their loved one.

“It’s just a place where family can come together and share their experiences,” she said.

A chaplain was also available at the café to help caregivers who are experiencing grief over their loved one’s memory loss.

“When a person goes through memory loss, you start to feel like you’re losing the person that they used to be,” Ball said, adding that the chaplain can also help with feelings of guilt from being apart from the loved one, even for a short period of time.

Ball said the café will continue as a monthly meeting at different locations throughout Demopolis. She also plans to host each event on a Thursday between 10 a.m. and noon to coincide with the SALT respite program for individuals with dementia and other memory problems.

This enables caregivers to have a place their loved ones can go while they are at the café, though Homestead Hospice also has volunteers to help care for the loved ones if they join the caregivers at the Memory Care Café.

Ball said Bambi Hamilton, director of SALT, helped her spread the word about the café and find the right avenues to start it.

“She has helped me get in touch with a lot of people in the community to find places to hold the Memory Care Café,” she said.

For more information, contact Ball at mball@homesteadhospice.net.

(This article originally appeared in the Wednesday, March 6 issue of the Demopolis Times.)