Trafford Housing Trust’s independent living service, TrustCare, has launched its first Memory Café in Sale, Greater Manchester to support people living with dementia.
Located at sheltered housing scheme, Manor Court, the Memory Café offers a welcoming space for people living with dementia, their families and caregivers to meet and take time out in a relaxed and informal setting.
The fortnightly events will host activities, including music sessions, games, photo sharing and memory boxes which use familiar items to stimulate conversations, such as photographs, jewellery or possessions from a bygone era. Specialist dementia organisations and Alzheimer’s ambassadors will also be on hand to offer information about their services and support available.
Building on the success of its recently opened Reminiscence Rooms, which provide a familiar space for people with dementia to connect with the past, TrustCare plans to roll out five more Memory Cafes across Trafford over the next 12 months.
Ken Holt, aged 81, who has dementia and lives with his wife Joan in Sale, attended the Memory Café. Joan says: “I’m so pleased there is now something in the area to provide support, we heard about the Memory Café at the weekly Healthy Hips & Hearts armchair exercise sessions at Manor Court. It’s a lovely environment and the people are very nice and helpful. We’re looking forward to attending the café on a regular basis.”
Stuart Langridge, Scheme Manager at Manor Court and Dementia Champion at TrustCare says: “We’re always looking at innovative ways we can support people living with dementia to help fight what is becoming the biggest health and social care challenge facing our society. Memory cafes give people the opportunity to share their dementia stories and offer carers support and reassurance.”
He continues: “As well as building Memory Cafes across Trafford and a Reminiscence Room in each of our 19 sheltered schemes, we also have 25 members of staff trained as Dementia Friends Champions through Alzheimer’s Society to encourage others to make positive difference to people living with dementia in their community. We also run our over 50s club, Be Social, with activities to increase wellbeing and independence, improve memory and reduce loneliness. Our Alert and response service also includes GPS tracking monitors for people at risk of wandering as well as personal alarms and falls detectors for peace of mind for friends and family.”
Rebecca Trower, dementia support worker for Alzheimer’s Society said: “It’s great that Trafford Housing Trust is providing support for people with dementia in Trafford by running Memory Cafés, which can really help improve people’s quality of life. They give people with dementia and their carers the opportunity to socialise with others in similar situations and receive vital support. They’re also a great source of information and guidance which can help people to live well with the condition.”