Caring cafe offers a safe space

Chloe FraserSound Telegraph
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A special kind of morning tea is coming to Kwinana.

Created as an opportunity for people with dementia and their carers to come together in a social gathering, Forget-Me-Not memory cafes have been popping up in various locations in the metro and wheatbelt areas since 2017.

The Well in Wellard is the latest cafe to join the Forget-me-not family, with its first morning tea kicking off at 10am on Wednesday, January 22.

Angi McCluskey, whose efforts have been instrumental in the implementation of seven memory cafés across WA, said the idea was born following her husband’s diagnosis with early onset Alzheimer's in 2015.

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She said as his condition progressed their established friendships began to change and opportunities for social interaction as a couple had slipped.

“Forget-me-not cafes began when we first discovered a lack of awareness and facilities for people living with Dementia after an initial diagnosis,” she said.

“There were workshops, carers groups and information sessions for me and other carers to attend and details of respite for my husband Michael, but little we could do together.

“We were looking for somewhere to enjoy a coffee and a chat in a warm friendly, non-judgemental environment and decided to start a Forget-Me-Not Café.”

She said Forget-me-not cafe's encouraged carers and their partners to socialise in a welcoming atmosphere, without embarrassment, misapprehension or judgement, and with the opportunity to share a morning with others who were travelling a similar life path.

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