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.

Luau Café

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A café filled with leis, pink flamingos, and ukulele music. Click here for full details.

Luau Café—a café filled with leis, pink flamingos, and ukulele music 

The Luau 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. 

Special Guest

Lena Syed, the daughter of one of our GLSS coworkers came to the café and played a few songs on the ukulele for our guests. You can see if you can find someone who would be willing to play live at your cafe.

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:

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 a beach theme. The song titles are available in this Youtube Playlist.

Participation

Invite your guests to wear the leis provided. If you have enough time and have a regular guest list, you can ask them to wear a Hawaiian shirt or grass skirt if they have one.

Structure

Lena Syed, the daughter of one of our GLSS coworkers started the event and played a few songs on the ukulele for our guests.  A crowd favorite was when she played “Somewhere over the Rainbow.”


Next we brought out the craft supplies we purchased from Michaels but they are also available through Amazon if you don't have a craft store close by.  They were small wooden anchors and hibiscus flowers.  Each guest was allowed to choose an anchor or a flower to paint it. 


Following the craft we got everyone on their feet to play Flamingo Ring Toss.  For this game we placed two plastic flamingos in white plastic buckets filled with sand.  The sand helped the flamingos to stand upright, and we placed purple cellophane around the buckets so they looked more festive.  We set a line on the floor and gave each person three rings to try their luck of landing it around the flamingo’s head.  I would recommend using larger rings than medium.  The size we purchased off Amazon was a bit small and made the game more challenging.  We included a larger size as well in the supply list. Despite the difficulty, there were a lot of laughs and we had fun.

We finished the day with Hawaii Bingo.  This board featured all different Hawaii and beach related pictures.  The winner received a small prize.

Following Bingo, we gave a reminder of the next month’s theme, said our goodbyes to guests and the staff began clean up.

 

Choice of activities statement.

Downloads

 Hawaii Bingo.pdf

The Hawaii Bingo boards are made to work as a dementia-friendly activity. The boards have pictures. It also includes large cards that can be held up to help people match an image that is called to an image on the Bingo board. Print on a color printer and bring chips to have the attendees put over the blocks.

If you like the download, please tell folks about our free Caregiver App!  The app helps build patience, perseverance, and peace in the caregiver. Instructions for downloading and using the app are available at this link.

 

Pictures 

Pink Flamingo with rings around neck

Goldfish crackers in fish bowl with net

Memory Cafe guests with Leis

Colorful Leis

Paper pineapple on a festive table

Fruit skewers on a festive table

A long table with festive Hawaiin decorations

Drink dispenser with paper umbrellas

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