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Shrewsbury Public Library receives federal grant to start “Memory Café”

sl6_4099Shrewsbury, Massachusetts – The Shrewsbury Public Library has received a federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant administered by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) to start a Memory Café. The 2-year grant funding of $10,000 will help the library launch and run a Memory Café to serve the growing population of people with early-onset of Alzheimer’s disease and their care partners. With growing dementia rates, spurred by the aging baby boomer generation, more individuals and families experience the fear and loss associated with a dementia diagnosis. The memory café model, created in the UK and imported to the US in 2012, is designed to “provide a safe, comfortable, engaging environment where people with memory loss and their care partners can laugh, learn and remain socially engaged with others travelling the same journey.”

The Library will launch the “Good Day Memory Café” on Friday, October 21st, 2-4 PM. Future meetings will be on the first and third Friday of the month from 2-4 PM in the main meeting room at the library. Library staff and a dedicated coordinator will ensure that the meetings are a fun mix of group social activities and light entertainment. It will be a welcoming space for people with a diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia and their care partners to gather, socialize and enjoy a few hours together. We invite area musicians, crafters and community members to volunteer their time and help us provide meaningful, interactive sessions for Memory Café participants. Interested volunteers may contact Priya Rathnam at prathnam@cwmars.org.

We have planned an interactive workshop presented by the Alzheimer’s Association on Tuesday, October 18th, 6:30-8 PM. Julie McMurray will present on the topic “Know the 10 signs: Early Detection Matters.” This workshop will empower you to make important decisions if you or someone you know is experiencing memory loss or behavioral changes.

The Memory Café meetings will have a drop-in format so that participants can attend when it is convenient for both the person with dementia and their care partner. Persons with mild cognitive impairment and people who are concerned about their memory loss are also welcome to attend the Café meetings.

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