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Bunbury to introduce first ‘memory cafe’ to the region to mark Dementia Awareness Week

Headshot of Breanna Redhead
Breanna RedheadBunbury Herald
Caf-fez's memory cafe will launch this Friday, September 23.
Camera IconCaf-fez's memory cafe will launch this Friday, September 23. Credit: supplied

A Bunbury cafe is taking a memorable step in dementia awareness, partnering with Alzheimer’s Western Australia to introduce the region’s first memory cafe.

Launching Friday September 23, Caf-fez will mark Dementia Awareness Week by kick-starting its memory cafe program to provide a welcoming and sociable space for people living with dementia and their carers to meet once a month.

With 24 memory cafes currently operating across the state, Caf-fez owner Bianca Fletcher said it was a “no-brainer” to bring the first memory cafe to the South West.

“For as long as I can remember we’ve had members of my family impacted by dementia and Alzheimer’s of varying stages,” she said.

“The purpose (of the cafe) is to provide a safe and welcoming space for people who are experiencing Alzheimers and dementia and also provide a networking community for carers as well.”

Ms Fletcher said the cafe aimed to “awaken the senses” of those impacted by dementia, with props including old photos, and rosemary to help spur conversation between visitors.

Dementia care experts will also attend each meeting to provide advice and support to attendees.

Alzheimer’s WA Chair, Professor Warren Harding, said having a safe community space for those impacted by dementia was “critical.”

“A dementia-friendly community is a place where people living with dementia are supported and enabled to live with meaning and purpose,” he said.

Initiated by local member Don Punch, who will also be at the opening launch, he said projects like this were “vital” to the community.

“The number of people living in our community with dementia is growing so it is important there are activities and supports available in our region,” he said.

“I describe the memory cafe as being a small project with a big heart, and I could not be happier it is coming to Bunbury.”

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