When Emily was asked ‘would the people that go to the cafe know that they’ve been built a cafe?’, last month on BBC Radio, it made me think. Something that many of us take for granted, our memory, we take information in and we retain it. People with Dementia may not remember their day out at the Dementia Cafe, the flavour tea and the choice of cake they chose, but the important thing is: they will feel good.
The aim of the cafe is not to make it their most fond memory, or to make it so spectacular that they remember it forever – as they simply won’t. Memory and Feeling are two different things. It is to make those people that come to the cafe, feel special and good, which in turn makes them feel happy. The hours that they spend at the cafe will be happy hours.
There is also the element of keeping those with dementia active, as it’s proven that they can maintain their independence for longer. Giving them the essence of freedom and life as they knew it before they developed the disease. It could extend their life and why wouldn’t we want to encourage that.
The idea behind this cafe is to give something to the visitors. Regardless of whether we get anything in return.
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