Coventry library to host monthly Memory Cafes

A past Memory Cafe reminisced about shopping on Cleveland's Euclid Avenue.

The Farrell Foundation for Brain Health will host three Memory Cafes at Coventry Village Library, starting March 14.

Each program, guided by professionals, is for people with cognitive memory loss due to dementia or Alzheimer’s and their primary care partners. The sessions combine music, art and storytelling with refreshments—all in a café atmosphere.

From March through May, the cafes will take place on the second Thursday of the month, 1–2:30 p.m. Registration is recommended for the free programs. To register, call 216-321-3400.

March 14 - St. Patrick’s Artful Legends and Limericks: Participants are invited to wear something green and create artwork in shades of green and enjoy St. Patrick’s Day refreshments. Then, toss in some four-leaf clovers and a few Irish limericks. No art background is needed for this program, guided by artists Richard Skerl and LeeAnn Eyre.

April 11 - Baseball Memories: Ike Brooks from the Society of American Baseball Research will reminisce about baseball opening days in Cleveland and other ballparks. Participants can also partake of baseball-themed snacks and refreshments.

May 9 - Stories We Write: Professional storyteller Kathy Strawser will guide the group in a Time Slips™️ writing session, in which participants get ideas from a unique photograph or artwork and have a chance to see the dynamics of the story and everyone’s involvement. Café-style refreshments will be offered.

Each program offers opportunities for engagement and socialization, which are vitally important for the well-being of the affected individual. The programs are offered in conjunction with city of Cleveland Heights’ pledge to become a Dementia Friendly Community.

Dr. Bere Miesen, a Dutch psychiatrist, came up with the idea of Memory Cafes, which were first held in 1997 in the Netherlands. Since then, they have spread to Europe and the U.S. An attendee described them as a “place where persons with early-stage dementia and their ‘carers’ can come together to share social time unhampered by stigma, awkwardness or discomfort.”

In 2011, Dr. Charlie Farrell and daughter Rev. Katie Farrell Norris started the Carolyn L. Farrell Foundation for Brain Health to make arts-based programming available to the community in support and honor of Carolyn Farrell, their wife and mother. The Farrell Foundation has served hundreds of individuals with dementia and their families over the last 13 years, with a focus on giving meaning and support in both practical and creative ways. Participants in the programs share the positive impact that the enrichment sessions have on their ability to socialize and improve quality of life.

For more information, visit farrellfoundation.org.

Gail Norris

Gail Norris is a volunteer contributor for the Farrell Foundation.

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Volume 17, Issue 4, Posted 10:16 AM, 03.08.2024