Welcome to the Alzheimer Café UK website

About the Alzheimer Café UK
The “Alzheimer Café UK” is a small, independent, CIO (Charitable Incorporated Organisation) no. 1165335. It supports the Farnborough Alzheimer Café, the first in the UK, which started 2000 – and helps other Alzheimer Cafés to set up nationally and internationally. We use the dementia-education and support this ‘café model’ started in 1997, by the Dutch, clinical psychologist Dr. Bère Miesen.

The Alzheimer Café is especially for people with dementia and their family and friend carers. “Come out of the woodwork – you are part of society and we want you to take your part in it.  Dementia is a part of life for some, for which nothing yet can be done.  You didn’t ask to get it: it could happen to anybody.  Don’t hide away.”  Dr. Bère Miesen

Contact information
Email: AlzheimerCafe@hotmail.co.uk
Website: www.AlzheimerCafe.co.uk
Address: St. Peter’s Parish Centre, 60 Church Ave,
Farnborough, Hants, UK, GU14 7AP
Telephone: 07938 175 002 (voicemail)

Dr. Gemma Jones (co-founder and Chair)
Hilary Dyce (coordinator of Farnborough AC)
Dr. Olive Fairbairn
Josh Cudworth

What is an Alzheimer Café (AC)?
An AC is more than just a ‘social outing’, which the name, taken literally, suggests.
It’s a monthly two-hour, gathering, held in a friendly, café-like setting for the purpose of dementia-education, socializing, and support.  It is for people who have (any type of) dementia, their family and friends, and anyone interested in dementia.  Refreshments are provided, and the AC is free of charge.  Just like a normal café, there’s no need to register in advance: you can come and go as you please.   It is organized by trustees, a steering committee, and hosted by a Coordinator; volunteers and professionals help.

Why use the name “Alzheimer” Café if people with every type of dementia attend?
Dr. Miesen used the name Alzheimer Café, (as opposed to Dementia Café), because when the AC started, the national support organizations had names like ‘Alzheimer Societies’.  He wanted to link the ACs to that name because Alzheimer’s Disease was, and still is, the most known and frequently occurring type of dementia. (Since then, to be totally inclusive, most ‘Alzheimer Societies’ have made an addition to their name, such as “and other types of dementia and neurological disorders” ).  This inclusion is implied for the ACs too.

The AC aims to reduce fear of dementia and stigma by providing:
a place to meet and socialize with others ‘in the same boat’
education about dementia – especially the emotional aspects
support for people with dementia and family carers
information about local services at a ‘Literature Table’

Who attends?
people who have dementia*, their family, partners, carers, caregivers, friends,
  neighbours (children and grandchildren too , if they can enjoy a talk)
∙ ‘Core family members’ – who have attended the café for several years and help
newcomers feel at ease
any interested others – health and social care students and professionals,
secondary school students who are thinking of healthcare-related studies, people
  from other support and retail services, members of the public
*The AC is for people with dementia who are aware of their diagnosis, and who are accompanied to the AC by someone known to them. It is hoped that people will start to attend the AC as soon as possible after their diagnosis.

How many AC sessions can people attend?
There is no set limit.  People can attend the sessions for as long as they feel safe being there, and comfortable during the presentations.  Some guests have attended for many years; some have become volunteers.

What happens during a two-hour AC?
At each AC session, timings are approximately:
– half hour of socializing, music, refreshments
– half hour of presentation/discussion* about some aspect of dementia
– an hour for more socializing, music, refreshments, informal discussion about
  the theme, time to ask questions, and visit the Information Table.

* The presentation is in the form of a talk, interview, or video related to dementia – especially the emotional aspects of having it – or caring for a person who has dementia. 
The presentations progress through a set of themes, which broadly follow the course of a dementing illness.  They are presented and discussed openly and sensitively.  AC guests can participate and ask questions of the presenters.
(click here to see the “Farnborough AC” pamphlet which shows the dates and usual themes.)

What have people said about the AC

– “This is magic. I love coming here.”  Person with dementia, Fleet
– “ I wish everyone with dementia knew about this café; it’s helped our family so much.”  Carer, Farnborough
– ” I can’t remember seeing my wife as happy as this in a very, very long time, thank you.” Carer, Cove
– “This is how it’s meant to work, everyone, the families and the professionals, talking together at the same time” Service Manager, Social Services, Aldershot.

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Donations are always welcome and very much appreciated:

To make a donation, either make a BACs bank transfer or post a cheque.
The Alzheimer Café   
To make an electronic BACs transfer, email the alzheimercafe@hotmail.co.uk 
for the AC bank details
To post a cheque, address it to:
The Alzheimer Café UK
St. Peter’s Church Hall, 60 Church Rd., Farnborough, GU14 7AP, UK

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