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A noble project in 20 Portuguese municipalities that fights against oblivion

A noble project in 20 Portuguese municipalities that fights against oblivion

Memory loss can be debilitating but Café Memória will be there to provide support

Café Memória Fica em Casa - in Portuguese this means Memory Café Stays at Home. For an initiative that is based on the concept of gathering people with dementia and memory problems together so they can find understand and acceptance, this may seem like the organizers have given up. However, this could not be further from the truth. The new title of the project simply refers to the new digital format which, in fact, strives to allow the regular monthly meetings to continue uninterrupted.

Sessions will be held over ZOOM until conditions allow for reverting to the traditional format

The foundation of the Café Memória project goes back to 2013 and is the result of a collaboration between the Portuguese Association of Family Members and Friends of Alzheimer’s Patients and the Sonae Sierra enterprise. It filled a long-standing gap for these people and their families, who often felt the brunt of isolation and suffering away from public eyes.

The way Café Memória meetings work is by welcoming all the participants one by one, which is then followed by a presentation of a topic by a speaker and activities that involve the participants. The idea is to provide trust, self-confidence and emotional support for the sufferers and their carers and to provide them with a safe space where they can freely express their struggles.

This creates a sense of community and since its inception, the initiative has already found a home in 20 municipalities around Portugal, where it is supported by the local administrations.

Since the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic almost a year ago and the subsequent restrictions on social gatherings it has been decided to continue with these important meetings – with the only difference that they now take place online via the ZOOM platform. Information about the meetings schedule and links can be consulted at cafememoria.pt.

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