Lincoln’s Dementia Cafe opened over 12 years ago, as a way of supporting those with dementia, and those caring for them. Originally started by The Alzheimer’s Society, a charity that provides support for those suffering with the disease, they have dementia cafe’s all over the UK.
Helen Coupe, Yorkshire & Lincolnshire Regional Administrator for the Alzheimer’s Society told LSJ News that the cafe is a social group. “It’s a place to get information and support, for support from peers too. Sometimes we do have ‘guest speakers’ from other organisations who may provide information on services that may be of use to the service users.”
The cafe usually has around 20-25 service users at each meeting. The meetings are ran by a paid member of staff called a Cafe co-ordinator, with volunteers helping out additionally. The cafe runs from 10am-12pm on Fridays, at Bracebridge Community Centre, Maple Street, Lincoln.
The main reason that people attend the Dementia Cafe is to socialise with people who are in a similar situation to themselves. Helen went on to say: “Part of the purpose of the Dementia Cafe is to allow service users to get out and socialise with people who are sensitive and understand both the carer and the person who has dementia. We never ask the service users whether they attend for other reasons such as loneliness etc.”
The cafe does not charge people for drinks and snacks, but service users and carers can choose to make a donation to the Alzheimers society if they so wish.