Memory Cafe Activities for People with Dementia or Alzheimer's

Taylor Lamberta, creator of the Memory Cafe activities, riding an elephantBelow are complete Memory Cafe activities that were designed by Taylor Lamberta, LICSW (in MA and NY), and Caregiver Support Specialist. Besides starting a Memory Cafe, she also has ridden on an elephant in Thailand, ridden behind a dog sled in Alaska, swum with dolphins in Jamaica, and climbed Machu Picchu in Peru.

Feel free to use these activities at a Memory Cafe or at a family gathering. Click on each picture to reveal the contents of that particular activity. Once in an activity, click the back button to see all of the activities again. Some Memory Cafe's have free downloadable Bingo boards like the Garden and Luau Cafe's. Sign up for your newsletter to be notified when new content is online, and make sure you check back every month for new ideas and activities.

We do ask that you also share the Caregivers Matter app with your caregivers as well. The app helps build patience, perseverance, and peace in the caregiver. Instructions for downloading and using the app are available at this link.

Meet Me at The Movies

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A movie-themed café designed by Sharon Johnston of the Hearthstone Institute. Click here for full details.

Meet Me at The Movies—a movie-themed café designed by Sharon Johnston of the Hearthstone Institute

Meet Me at The Movies contains activities for a large or small group of people with dementia or Alzheimer's at a memory cafe, in an instutional setting, or at home with a small or large family consisting of people of all ages. This program was provided to us by Hearthstone Institute. Over the years of Hearthstone’s experience in dementia care, a number of innovative tools, programs and games have been devised to inspire and engage residents and participants while also enriching the range of choices available to care providers and staff. It is worth your time to check out their offerings. http://www.thehearthstoneinstitute.org/about/innovations/

Special Guest

Sharon Johnson, Executive Vice President, Marketing & Director of the Hearthstone Institute
 
Sharon is Director of the Hearthstone Institute and is also a member of the faculty. She has been involved in the development of Hearthstone’s I’m Still Here® program since 2001. Sharon is a frequent presenter on the subject of evidence-based memory care, including multiple conference keynotes and numerous workshops.
 
Sharon has served in leadership positions for several Alzheimer-related non-profit organizations and is a member of many professional associations within the Alzheimer’s community.
Sharon co-developed all of the training modules presented by the Hearthstone Institute and the materials utilized in the training sessions. She consults worldwide on the efficacy of the I’m Still Here® Approach to dementia care to bring Hearthstone’s message of hope to those living with the challenges of memory impairment.

Supplies

We used the projector, a laptop and a viewing screen to show the videos. Seats were arranged in a theatre-like fashion, lined in rows on either side of the projector.

Other supplies:

About Supplies:

Shopping links are provided by Amazon, which makes it easy to see the type of product that we are talking about. Clicking any of the links will take you to Amazon. Please note that the Caregiver Program collects fees from Amazon for referring users if they purchase there. We use 100% of these fees to fund our Caregiver Program, including this website and our caregiver apps. You also can purchase any of these products at local shops as well.

Snacks

We usually incorporate a themed snack whenever it is possible or if it applies.

This month featured:

  • Individual cups of popcorn
  • Various candy
  • Small cans of soda

We also had our regular spread which consists of:

  • Coffee, tea and water.
  • Crackers, cheese, fruit, pastry

Consider the time of your café, and any safety and dietary restrictions that may apply to your particular group.

Participation

The “movie day” was presented in a series of short film clips. This choice was intentional, as it may be difficult to hold the attention spans of the guests for the duration of a full length movie, and that remembering the content of the film or following a plot might be challenging.

Structure

Coffee, snacks and socializing.

After the initial social hour, we moved from our community table over to the “mini theatre” we created in the front of the café. Sharon Johnson and a colleague from the Hearthstone Institute brought this program to our café. She chose and ran a series of short YouTube clips and asked interactive questions at the end of each clip.

The clips were old, well-known scenes, featuring movies, comedy skits, sitcoms and musicals. They asked the guests reminiscing questions about the clips such as where they were when they first saw it, how old they were, if they had a television at home, etc. The program lasted around 45 minutes leaving some time at the end for the group to share what they enjoyed most and wrap up the day.

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