6 February 2023

Church’s cafe will provide community and care for people with dementia

The Memory Care cafe will be a place for friendship and respite. Picture: iStock.

Jenan Taylor

27 August 2022

People who live with dementia, and their carers, will soon have a social meeting place at an Eltham church.

The Memory Care café at St Margaret’s Anglican, in collaboration with community organisation Health Ability, will aim to provide respite and friendship for people in the local community who have cognitive impairments, and their carers.

Trained volunteers from the church will provide introductions and conversation for carers, and a Health Ability staff member will oversee activities for the customers who have dementia.

Volunteer, Sheila Cheary said in the local Shire of Nillumbik there were hundreds of people suffering with cognitive illnesses, and some existing dementia cafes were being very well frequented.

She said a similar venue in Hurstbridge, in particular, had proven a huge success among carers who were previously unaware of others in the same caring situation as themselves.

“Every single day they have to commit to looking after the people they’re with, and we’ve noticed that after a few weeks of being able to get to a place where they can socialise with others who understand what they’ve been through, they’re in a much better mood,” Ms Cheary said.

Ms Cheary said St Margaret’s church hall where the café would be located, could accommodate around 20 people.

A HeartEdge initiative for St Margaret’s, the café will open in late September and operate fortnightly.

More information is available at stmargaretseltham.org.au

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