Penn Medicine News Blog

August 22, 2016 // By Sally Sapega // Comments

The Memory Café: A “Safe” Place to Socialize

Aging // Measures that Matter // Neurodegenerative Diseases

Memory cafe connie and betty mitchellAt a recent event at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, a group of people sat around four tables, each with Egyptian artifacts as its centerpiece. Museum educators went from table to table explaining – in a highly entertaining fashion – what each artifact signified in ancient times.

What was unique about this “class” was not the topic or the location. It was the audience: members of the Memory Café, a program created by the Penn Memory Center (PMC) exclusively for patients with memory problems, including Alzheimer’s disease, and their caregivers.

Studies have shown that dementia often leads to isolation for both the person inflicted and the caregiver. And feelings of isolation and loneliness can evolve into depression and anxiety. The Memory Café, held each month at Christ Church in Old City since starting this past winter, offers a safe space for individuals to socialize with those who share similar circumstances or concerns.

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