Post No22…Why Memory Cafés Matter

Post No22…Why Memory Cafés Matter
Photo by Kelly Sikkema / Unsplash


For many years, memory cafes have provided a safe, informative, and social place for people living with dementia and their carers. They were, however, like many other important community projects, a casualty of Covid, and some are finding it tough to recover. What Covid did show us is that these groups are still so important, and in their absence a great void was felt in many peoples diaries and social lives.

In this post I want to take a quick look at why memory cafes matter, and why they are so useful to the people who attend them.

Top Tip...Memory cafes are great places to meet care industry professionals and get advice

Breaking the Stigma

It may seem surprising, but in the modern world there is still quite a big stigma surrounding dementia. This often manifests itself in people hiding symptoms of dementia, which can include spouses hiding things from their family, if say their husband or wife has dementia.

This can, and does, go on for many months or even years, and all the while the person is living without a diagnosis or access to services that can support them.

By attending a memory café, people not only learn about dementia but they also see and meet other people who have dementia or care for someone who does. By interacting in this way, people can begin to realise that there are other people who are in a similar position to their own, bringing a sense of togetherness.

It also shows that anyone can be affected by dementia, that dementia is not selective, and that it is not something for people to be embarrassed by.

    Horsham memory cafe

To attend please call Beverly on 07976 586232 or email


One of the great things about memory cafes is the ability for carers to do a bit of ‘networking,’ spending time talking to other people and hopefully forming new friendships. This also leads to people signposting to other clubs, whether it is a lunch at the local social club, a ladies coffee morning, or even to another memory café.

Not all community clubs are easy to find, so getting some inside knowledge can be a useful way for people to find and attend different clubs throughout the month.

Signposting can also be a useful tool for people who are looking for respite breaks in care homes to get a recommendation, normally from other carers, who may have used a care home previously.

Social Interaction

Another Covid casualty; the ability for us to socialise in a way we would like, and dare I say, need to. Isolation has always been an issue in the older generation, but Covid highlighted this beyond our current appreciation.

Memory cafes are social places, normally of local folk who all share something in common. Often, the organisers will arrange for activities to take place, or for speakers to provide insight; but mainly they are places for people to interact with one another in a friendly atmosphere.

Social interaction is always important, no matter what age we are.


Memory cafes will often attract other professionals from the industry or from local charities, who will attend the sessions as guests or sometimes as speakers. This presents a good opportunity for carers to ask questions, or get some general advice on a range of different topics.

Many cafes are supported by local NHS services, like Admiral Nurses, who again can provide useful insight about services and offer support to carers and their families.

Given that the care industry is quite a mine field, having access to professional people via a memory café is a good tip to help navigating your way through.

Did you know? Getting a diagnosis is the best way of accessing future support, both clinically and socially


Memory cafes will continue to be extremely important community links for people living with dementia and their carers. By giving people access to information, educating people and signposting, they are the pinnacle of what is important to us in our own communities.

If you know of a memory café nearby, and either have or care for someone with dementia, try giving it a go, you never know what it might bring…

The Care Whisperer says 'breaking the stigma and getting a diagnosis is an important first step to finding the support that is available in most communities'

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