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.

Valentine’s Day Café

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A café to celebrate St. Valentine's day and love. Click here for full details.

Valentine’s Day Café—a café to celebrate the holiday and love 

Valentine’s Day Café 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. 

Supplies

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:

  • This month featured Valentine’s Day decorated cookies and heart shaped candies.

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.

Music Playlists

This month we featured background music that had some type of flower in the lyrics. Some song snippets are available in this Youtube Video. If you prefer a longer playlist rather than snippets, try this Youtube Playlist.

Participation

We encouraged our guests to play in the games listed below. As always, all are welcome to observe if they are not comfortable with active participation.

Structure

Coffee, snacks and socializing

Guess That Couple - Guests sat at their table and we placed an easel in front for all to see. On the easel I displayed four pictures at a time of celebrity couples. Each photo was numbered and I would ask the group “does anyone recognize the couple in photo three?” One of the keys to success and participation of the group is to accept a variety of answers. When it seemed people were unable to identify the famous people I would add, “Does anyone know their character name or what film they appeared in?” It seemed that allowing for any relevant information increased confidence and participation. The guests seemed to enjoy the activity and since most of the photos were very iconic, many of them were recognizable to the group. You can choose the couples based on your group's demographics. Here is a sample of actual Hollywood couples that actually got married featuring Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, Clark Gable and Carole Lombard, Vivean Leigh and Laurence Olivier, and Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn. Plus, here are some famous onscreen movie couples.

Break for the bathroom and beverage refill

Name That Tune - We began the second game by handing out a numbered list of song lyrics. All of the songs were about love and were well known hits from the past. We increased participation by asking the guests to take turns reading the lyrics out loud. Each guest was able to do so without difficulty but had we noticed a struggle we would have re-directed by reading them ourselves or asking the caregivers to assist. Some lyrics were guessed just by reading them but when they were still unrecognizable we would then play the corresponding YouTube video. Once guests heard the lyrics to music most were able to recall the song. Again, we increased participation by saying “Maybe you know the artist, or the song title, perhaps you can sing a verse or tell me where you were when you first heard the song.” When we opened the field of “correct answers” we heard some heartfelt responses such as: “this was our wedding song” or “they played this at my mother’s funeral.” Here is a list of old fashioned love songs that you can play.

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