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New Panorama Memory Café

Health & Wellness

Because being active physically, socially and mentally is good for the brain

Written by Sara Wasser, Social Services Advisor

Fostering dementia-friendly and inclusive communities is happening all over the world, and Panorama is part of the movement!

In 2017, Panorama’s Clinical Operations team asked Independent Living residents questions about their health, wellbeing and overall satisfaction in the Quality of Life Questionnaire. While falls and mobility were major concerns for many of you, memory loss also ranked as a top challenge.

The Clinical Operations Team and Lifestyle Enrichment Department are developing more dementia-friendly activities as a result of these findings. Through the generous donations to the Office of Philanthropy, we will be able to host a new monthly Memory Café beginning in June.

What is a Memory Café?

Memory Cafés are simple –it’s all about connecting, companionship and having fun together! They offer a welcoming space for people with dementia and their care partners to socialize and connect in a relaxed environment free of expectations and judgment. The concept originated in the Netherlands almost twenty years ago and Memory Cafés are now popping up all over the world. There are 14 cities in our state with Memory Cafés including one hosted by South Sound Senior Services on the first Thursday of every month from 2:30-4:30pm at Rivers Edge Restaurant in Tumwater.

Panorama’s Memory Café will include a complementary (non-alcoholic) beverage and musical entertainment by Panorama favorites Phil Bunker, Alan Zaboski, Scott Cossu and others. Independent Living Social Services staff will also be there to welcome guests, facilitate conversations and provide educational handouts on dementia, caregiving and other valuable resources.

Who is the Memory Café for?

Memory Cafés are designed for people with early-to-moderate stage dementia and their care partners, as well as those who worry about memory problems. It’s not a respite or adult day program. While Memory Cafés are not considered a “support group”, peer support and social contact becomes a focal point. Many people make friendships as a result of the group and are able to provide mutual support outside of the Memory Café.