The Martha’s Vineyard Center for Living and the YMCA of Martha’s Vineyard announced the formation of the Memory Café, known as “The Thursday Club at the Y,” which will kick off with an open house on Thursday, Jan. 29, from 10 am to 12 pm at Alex’s Place, the Teen Center at the YMCA. The event will introduce the organizing team, as well as some Islanders struggling with memory loss and their care partners. The community is encouraged to attend to help plan the future of this program.
According to the Martha’s Vineyard Center for Living, people over the age of 65 are the fastest-growing demographic on Martha’s Vineyard, and over time many will be coping with dementia or memory loss. Many experience this challenge themselves or care for someone who does, and younger people can also struggle with memory issues. The population of care partners is also growing, and many share common concerns about those they care for. At “The Thursday Club at the Y,” those with memory concerns and their care partners can find information, learn strategies, and get support.
Memory cafés are social clubs started by people experiencing memory loss who do not want to lose the opportunity for social connections and friendships. “The Thursday Club at the Y” is intended to be a place for people to relax and have fun. Memory cafés got their start in the Netherlands, and are common now both there and in Britain. The idea to develop these “judgment-free zones” for people with mild dementia or memory loss has caught on in the United States.
This program has been developed by a team of professionals with expertise in the area of memory loss and dementia. The Martha’s Vineyard Center for Living, a 501(c)(3) organization, is currently seeking funding, and welcomes all donations.