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Stroll to Memory Lane Café

by jmaloni
Mon, Mar 4th 2013 07:00 am

Peregrine's Landing Senior Community and The Clubhouse Bro's Family Restaurant in Wheatfield have partnered together to bring "Memory Lane Café" to local residents beginning April 17.

The Clubhouse started the concept on a small scale in 2011. After recognizing the need to reach more people affected by Alzheimer's and dementia-related diseases, the two paired their expertise to assist more families learn how to live with the disease and enjoy the moment.

"No one should go through this journey alone," said Charlene Brosius, group leader for the Café. As a wife, mother, and daughter of a dad who had vascular dementia, I know first hand the struggles when trying to balance it all. As a registered nurse and certified dementia practitioner, I know how to help families live a better life while going through this experience."

The idea is to bring together people with Alzheimer's disease, their caregivers and trained professionals in a non-institutional setting where they can have food, entertainment, group activities and network with peers who are experiencing the same thing. Trained professionals are present to assist families in creating fulfilling moments, laugh and understand how to put a sense of normal back into their lives.

Participants will partake in group-appropriate activities and have a family style dinner. Families can network and vent and provide feedback for future discussions and events. Participants will be offered opportunities to plan other social outings both in and away from the Café and even get respite as a caregiver. The restaurant hosts the event and is closed for general business that evening.

Often family members find it difficult to go out socially to restaurants in a "normal" setting. They do not know how their loved one will be affected by the external stimulation and lack of a scheduled routine, all factors which play into the daily life living with the disease. Even if they do go out they often have to eat quickly and leave. There is still among some a substantial social stigma related to dementia, and even well meaning people sometimes do not know how to react.

"It's a comfortable-style support group for caregivers and their loved ones," said Kashia Baldelli, facilitator for the Café.

The first meeting on April 17 will be a planning meeting for caregivers only. The free event will be held once a month on the third Wednesday of the month, from 5 to 7 p.m. The group will meet at The Clubhouse Bro's Family Restaurant, 3386 Niagara Falls Blvd., Wheatfield. A $5 dinner is available, which includes beverages and desserts provided courtesy of the Clubhouse. Activity material is provided by Peregrine's Landing Senior Community. Call 716-474-3089 to confirm attendance.

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