On Wednesday, May 21st at 6:30pm, New Dawn and New Dawn College will host Sydney’s first Alzheimer’s Café. An Alzheimer’s Café is a safe and welcoming place for people with memory loss, their families and their care providers.
“It can be hard to plan an evening out when you or someone you love is living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias,” says Nancy MacKinnon, RN. “There is a very real fear of how disorienting new environments can be, how unpredictable responses to those environments can be, and the general stigma and silence around memory loss.”
The first Cafe was hosted in 1997 in the Netherlands by Dr. Bere Miesen. Dr. Miesen was frustrated that medical and nursing students were not taught about the invisible emotional aspects of having and living with dementia (fear, anger, helplessness, stress, long-term grieving, guilt, etc.) This meant that those diagnosed and living with memory loss received some of the acute support but were still missing out on so much.
The event on the 21st includes food, music and conversation as well as a short information session on issues related to Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. All in the community living with memory loss, Alzheimer’s and/or other dementias and their families, friends and caregivers are welcome, no matter the stage of their diagnosis/disease.
“Our aim is to create a calm and welcoming place,” says MacKinnon. “Alzheimer’s Cafes are based on the principles of love and acceptance. We want everyone to feel comfortable and wholly accepted.”
This will be the first of a series of Alzheimer’s Cafes hosted by New Dawn and New Dawn College. The next scheduled Cafe will take place from 6:30-8:30pm on Wednesday June 18th. Subsequent monthly Cafes will follow from September 2014 to June 2015. Cafes will be held on the third Wednesday of each month in the former Holy Angels Convent Chapel, 170 George Street, Sydney. For more information, please call Debbie at New Dawn College at 270-3659.