New Brunswick

Dementia patients, families enjoy 'safe space' of memory café

A program called a memory café is helping Saint John-area dementia patients and their families cope through education, socialization and activity.

Program hosted throughout New Brunswick is now offered in Saint John area

Individuals with Alzheimer's disease and dementia gather in Rothesay for learning, fun and socialization. 1:17

A program called a memory café is helping Saint John-area dementia patients and their families cope through education, socialization and activity.

There are 14,000 New Brunswickers living with Alzheimer's disease and dementia. That number grows each year by more than 2,000 cases.

A memory café is an inclusive way for people dealing with Alzheimer's and dementia to learn and have fun with others going through the same experience.

A memory café is a program for Alzheimer and dementia patients and their families to learn, have fun and enjoy entertainment. (Matthew Bingley/CBC)
The Alzheimer Society of New Brunswick has been hosting these events throughout the province and is now offering them in Rothesay.

"We really try and create that atmosphere of having a safe space and really just making it feel like they're going out for an afternoon coffee while at the same time still having access to those resources and support and education as well," said Emily Blaney, regional coordinator of the Saint John branch of the Alzheimer Society of New Brunswick.

Laurie Young's father Walter Henry was diagnosed with Alzheimer's six years ago.

"So much of Alzheimer's and dealing with the disease has been about what you're losing. And this is fun. It's about sharing and supporting, and learning. But it's fun and it's light and it's not so heavy."

As Young's father Henry said, "Some good music and it's, all in all, a good time."