A network of dementia cafes aimed at connecting people living with dementia and their loved ones to one another and gently introducing them to support services is proving the perfect pick-me-up. Alzheimer’s Australia Victoria runs eight dementia cafes, funded through Victoria’s Department of Health and the Australian government, eight times a year in venues like RSLs, function centres and cafes in parks.
The cafes run for two hours during the morning or afternoon with food and entertainment provided, which can range from 1950s music to show tunes and acapella.
Jenny Philipp, program manager for early intervention services at Alzheimer’s Australia Vic says one of the biggest advantages of the cafes, which are open to everyone and don’t need a referral, is that they provide a soft introduction to the support services available, which some people may be reticent to access.
She says older people often feel they have to be stoic and hold back from asking for support because they worry it shows that they’re not coping.
“Coming to a cafe is a really normal way for people to begin to access services and that’s the joy of it,” Philipp says.
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