Forget-Me-Not: Coffee catch-ups lend empathetic ear to those living with dementia

Forget-Me-Not Memory Cafe organisers Mary and Ronnie are inviting people living with dementia and their carers to join them for a cuppa. Photo: Supplied.
Forget-Me-Not Memory Cafe organisers Mary and Ronnie are inviting people living with dementia and their carers to join them for a cuppa. Photo: Supplied.

Sometimes, all a person wants is an empathetic ear and a cuppa.

This is the simple and winning concept behind Forget-Me-Not Memory Café, an initiative that offers those living with dementia and their carers a chance to share their stories with one another.

Halls Head resident Maree Emerson's mother has just entered full-time care, and for her, the catch-up was exactly what she needed.

"My mother has just entered full time dementia care," she said.

"It's an adjustment for all of us and I found it very beneficial to talk to someone outside our family and friends group who understands this.

"I discussed some of the challenges I personally have found - particularly being interstate from my family and the feelings of isolation and helplessness - and (event organisers) Ronnie and Mary listened with an open heart.

"I will definitely be a regular at Forget-Me-Not meet-ups."

Forget-Me-Not secretary Ronnie Baldwin said an outing to join others travelling a similar road for a coffee and a chat in a warm and friendly atmosphere is everything.

"A Forget-Me-Not café is a welcoming, safe environment where people living with dementia may relax in a friendly atmosphere without feeling shunned or conspicuous," she said.

A pair of upcoming Forget-Me-Not Cafes are scheduled to be held in Mandurah.

The first will be held at Jamaica Blue in Halls Head from 2pm - 3.30pm on Monday, January 18.

Sunbreakers Restaurant will host the second from 10am - 12pm on Wednesday, January 20.