How Did We Get Here
Our church has watched helplessly as fellow members, friends, and family have traveled the long “dementia journey”. A group of us wanted to try and do something to help others in the Syracuse community traveling a similar path.
We started by having the CNY Alzheimer’s Association run a series of educational sessions on Alzheimer’s and dementia and invited members of the community. Then a member read an article about memory cafés. We did some research, gathered as much information as possible, and visited a memory café that was meeting in Cortland at the time. In late 2016 we decided it was time to give it our best shot. We held our first Syracuse Memory Café in January 2017 with four couples attending. In January of 2022 we celebrated our 5th anniversary! And while we started the café with the mindset that we are helping the individual with memory changes we quickly realized the café is just as important to the caregivers. It gives both an opportunity to laugh, sing, and socialize with others in a similar situation.
The joy, friendships, and yes even sadness that the volunteer staff at the Syracuse Memory Café has experienced has been a blessing. We look forward to the cafe’s as much as our guests and invite any and all to join us.
– The Staff of the Syracuse Memory Café
“In our Guests’ Own Words”
Memory Cafe is the high-light of the month for us for several reasons: As a caregiver, I can simply relax for 90 minutes and let someone else be in charge. They provide some great entertainment and a free lunch! Everyone who helps with the program smiles and greets us and seems happy to see us. It is light-hearted. We enjoy singing along with the old songs. It is a good way of connecting with other caregivers as we sit around the tables. When we leave, my husband often comments about “all the good people” who were there. I am so thankful that there is a Syracuse Memory Cafe. It helps me to feel that I am not alone in this journey.
– Becky and Doug
The caring and compassion shown by the “team” is a blessing. We always enjoy the singing, program, and food …even the jokes. Steve says “it charges my battery and I always come away feeling good”
– Kathy and Steve
The Syracuse Memory cafe is a friendly, welcoming place, non-judgemental and a chance to interact with others. A nice morning out.
– Anita & Bob
How wonderful to find a place where dementia folks can speak or act in any way they wish, and the folks around greet them warmly and respectfully. The caregivers can relax and welcome the interactions with surprise and gratitude.