Memory Café

By Max Slutsky

By the age of 85 years and older, between 25 and 50 percent of seniors display symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer’s. With cognitive decline come stigma, shame, and potential for mistreatment by caregivers, including family members who have difficulty accepting and relating to their elders who are no longer able to recognize family members or speak about their lives as they once did with regularity and reverence. In the case of most progressive dementias, there is no cure or treatment that slows or stops its progression. While there are drug treatments that may temporarily improve symptoms, the main help originates from supportive counseling groups, nontraditional therapeutic activities, and congregate socialization programs as an alternative way to support survivors and provide respite for their caregivers.

Our program is focused on Survivors affected by dementia, alleviating their suffering, and promoting healthy living in the face of memory loss. A secondary focus is to reduce shame, avoid retraumatization and mitigate the stigma associated with mental health by educating family and community caregivers on ways to communicate with survivors from a PCTI (Person-centered and trauma-informed) perspective.

Marks JCH offers weekly Memory Cafes run by various professionals for congregate socialization activities on-site with transportation provided to those with limited mobility and in-home visits for those unable to travel. Memory Cafés are a meeting place where people with mild to mid-stage dementia and their caregivers can share their condition, receive emotional support, explore art, music, form friendships, socialize, and laugh to stimulate their intellects and bodies in new ways. A mental health consultant is engaged to assist in the provision of support, caregivers’ education, and referrals to mental health services.

Every Monday: 10:30am-12:30pm: Library- Memory Preservation Activities

Every Wednesday: 10:00am-11:00am. Family Room. Nostalgia Group: remembering the past

Every Thursday: 11:00am-12:00pm. A4 Room. Board Games.

Every Friday: 10:30am-12:30pm. Room B3. Interactive mood Improvement through colors.

This program is generously funded by the Jewish Communal Fund

Information: Call Maya Bourshtein 718-943-6309, Raisa Latrushkina 718-943-6309, Vera Spektor 718-943-6334


  Holocaust Survivors and Russian Seniors Center
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