People who have a loved one struggling with a memory-loss issue have a place to turn to for support.
The Grace Ridge Retirement Community in Morganton will partner with Burke Hospice and Palliative Care to host the Memory Café from 3-4 p.m. the third Thursday of each month, at 500 Lenoir Road in Morganton. The meeting is free to attend.
The Memory Café at Grace Ridge allows caregivers of family members diagnosed with dementia, mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease to meet in an informal setting for support, education, speakers and resources helpful to decrease stress and address concerns. The café has helped more than 300 people since it began in July 2016.
“There are two groups going during the time slot,” said Charity Elliot, social worker at Grace Ridge. “One group is for caregivers, and the other is activity support for individuals with memory loss.”
Individuals with cognitive impairments will meet one-on-one with a support volunteer, who will provide a fun activity including reminiscing, music, a snack social of cookies or fruit, art and other activities in a separate room from caregivers.
“Research shows that these activities provide many positive effects on families and those with dementia, including decreased depression, improved self-esteem and sleeping habits, and increased mental and social stimulations,” said Kelsey Graff, a public relations spokesperson for Grace Ridge.
North Carolina has more than 160,000 people living with Alzheimer’s disease, and that number is projected to increase to more than 210,000 by 2025.
“The group aims to raise awareness of the disease, lower the associated stigma and improve support for Burke County families living with dementia,” Graff said.
The Davis family has attended the Memory Café since it began.
“Each month, Mr. Davis is excited to see our volunteers from Burke Hospice and receive one-on-one, person-centered support during his group meeting,” Elliott said. “The photos speak volumes about how the group has impacted the lives of Mr. Davis and others who attend.”
The two organizations coming together allows them to reach out to Burke County residents in a greater way to provide caregivers in our community the support they need while also providing volunteers to serve the people with cognitive impairments who attend. Residents interested in attending need to register so enough volunteers are available.
Family members who attend the meetings on a regular basis will find the group and connections with other caregivers very helpful and supportive.
“Our group focus is meeting the individual, families, and caregivers where they are at, to help provide support through the journey of memory loss in general, regardless of the diagnosis,” Elliott said.
To register, call Charity Elliott at 828-580-8327 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/129088464370050/.