The Memory Lane Cafe have been busy throughout the last six months of lockdown. Here is an update from them on what they are doing for people with dementia and their friends.
Since the lockdown started on 23 March, the volunteers at Memory Lane Cafe have been busy helping to support local people with dementia. Concerned from the start that isolation would severely impact their regular visitors, they have been keeping in touch by phone with around 20 people that needed support.
Keeping the brain active important, so helpful information, games and music videos from their regular Memory Lane musicians, Jed & Maggie and Tony Austin have been posted on Facebook and a messenger group set up for several isolated members to be able to keep in touch with each other.
As people became familiar with Zoom technology, the cafe started running virtually and included quizzes, musical bingo and singalongs.
The volunteers have also been out and about, lending the Memory Lane stock of games, jigsaws and craft materials to members to use at home.
Shopping support was also provided, with the team shopping for approx 10 people and since lockdown eased, they now take them out shopping to rebuild confidence in getting out and about. A ready-meals service from Wiltshire Farm Food was arranged s for those that previously relied on going out to cafes.
Chris Harvey, Secretary of Memory Lane Cafe Calderdale said:
“We knew from the start that our regular visitors and members would struggle with lockdown and quickly got together to provide emotional and practical help. The impact of what we’re doing has helped reduce isolation, given people something to talk about with each other and provided valuable emotional and and coping skills.
“An additional benefit has been the strengthened relationships between members through on-line communication or telephone calls.
“Even couples living with dementia needed our help when stuck at home, devoid of outside stimulus. One of our couples have posted images of themselves playing the boules we lent them and singing on Facebook.”
So what next for Memory Lane Cafe?
For the past few weeks they have been working on plans to safely reopen their cafes in Sowerby Bridge and Halifax. The are now contacting members to establish how many people would be interested in coming along. The cafes will have to operate differently due to social distancing – there’ll be some things that they won’t be able to do, and other things that they’ll need to do differently. However, the team know they can still make it fun!
About Memory Lane Cafe
Memory Lane Cafe provides a dementia-friendly environment for people affected by dementia, other memory problems and isolation. We always have a varied programme of games & crafts, information and support, cakes and conversation. Our dedicated team of volunteers run the craft sessions, games, refreshments, provide information, support, chat and a very warm welcome.
Prior to lockdown the Cafe’s were held in Halifax (Maurice Jagger Centre) on the first and third Thursday of the month and Sowerby Bridge (St. Paul’s Methodist Church) on the second and fourth Saturday of the month.