LiveWell Alliance Granted Funding to Expand Memory Cafes in Connecticut

Exciting news! LiveWell has been awarded a prestigious grant to develop, support and sustain a memory café network across Connecticut.

A memory café is a social gathering for people living with early Alzheimer’s, or other dementias along with their family and friends. Memory Cafes are great places to develop friendships with others having a shared experience. Cafés meet at a variety of places including coffeehouses, museums, community organizations or libraries. Guests “check their diagnosis at the door” and enjoy each other, a bite to eat, and a fun activity.

With roots in the Netherlands, the Memory Cafe concept emerged in 1997 to break through the stigma associated with various forms of Dementia. It simply “wasn’t discussed” and those with the disease – and their caregivers – were suffering as a result.

The concept has since spread throughout Europe, to Ireland and England, Australia and eventually to the United States.

Grant to Expand CT Memory Cafes

Tufts Health Plan Foundation has funded LiveWell to develop, support and sustain a memory café network in Connecticut. “These Momentum Fund Grants make it possible for organizations to build on community insights,” said Nora Moreno Cargie, president of Tufts Health Plan Foundation and vice president of corporate citizenship at Tufts Health Plan. “We know the best ideas come from cities and towns as they reimagine aging.”

LiveWell, a nonprofit based in Southington, CT provides a holistic approach to addressing the needs of people living with dementia while helping communities reimage aging. LiveWell leads a Dementia Friendly community initiative in Southington and is the state sponsor for Dementia Friends.

“Social options for people impacted by dementia are key to a Dementia Friendly community,” said Katy O’Leary, Director of Community Development for LiveWell, “a thriving Memory Café network in CT will help address social needs for a growing population of individuals living with dementia and their care partners.”

The Momentum Fund is supporting 10 projects each in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. All are community-led, address healthy aging and include older people in the planning and implementation process. The projects address the social determinants of health, including promising new ways to access healthy food and affordable housing, and to decrease social isolation and loneliness. Several projects provide support for people living with dementia, promote healthy aging in diverse communities and increase volunteerism among older people.

LiveWell opened in 1992 in Plantsville, CT as a nonprofit focused exclusively on caring for individuals at all stages of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia. Today, LiveWell continues as a pioneer in dementia care and is recognized as one of the most knowledgeable resources in the nation for individuals impacted by dementia. With an understanding of the challenges that confront families on this difficult journey, LiveWell has developed effective models of care that are respectful, dignified and have compassion at their core.