Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageMemory Care Cafe seeks to support caregivers of Alzheimers Special

By Jonathan Farrell     Feb 9, 2015 in Health
San Francisco - According to the Alzheimer's Association, in 2014 an estimated 5.2 million Americans were diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.
And in other data collected approximately 200,000 individuals younger than age 65 have what is called 'younger-onset Alzheimer's.' As healthcare continues to be a major concern, efforts to help deal with memory loss and forms of dementia are vital to the future of the aging population.
Community activists and organizers as well as other Alzheimer's advocates recognize the importance of support groups and networking.
The Sunset Heights Association of Responsible People, (SHARP) a neighborhood- community group in San Francisco is pleased to lend its meeting space to The Memory Care Cafe, which invited the Sunset District of San Francisco and surrounding community areas to attend their 'Introductory Meeting' this past February 24. The aim of the Memory Care Cafe is to help seniors and their caregivers remain active and healthy.
"Since we started in April 2013 we have evolved into an inquisitive, mobile group, with weekly outings to various destinations in San Francisco and its surroundings," said Patricia Ris, founder and program coordinator. She and development director Debora Tingley are eager to schedule activities and gatherings for four weeks in March. The SHARP meetinghouse will be the Memory Care Cafe's home base for its Western-side-of-the-City outreach. "We visit museums, famous landmarks and interesting neighborhoods."
Ris talked to this reporter while on assignment for the Sunset Beacon Newspaper about the work Memory Care Cafe has been doing. "Once a month we meet at The Gatehouse at Fort Mason, for a variety of projects and local explorations. When the weather is fine, we visit the beautiful outdoors for a 'walk and talk', and settle down for a picnic afterward. We're always active and busy, never missing a chance to discover something new, or rediscover the things we love in our own town."
Ris, Tingley and staff want to bring this important outreach to The Sunset District. Activities and gatherings will be coordinated and arranged according to the needs of the local community. This is why Ris wants to get word out that Memory Care Cafe is going to set up shop its at SHARP. Pleased that the members of SHARP agreed to allow Ris and Tingley the opportunity to establish a vital outreach and support system, success in the effort is positive.
The concept of this type of support group outreach started as an Alzheimer Cafe in the Netherlands in 1997. "And was so successful over there that there are now 200 of these meetings throughout the Netherlands (which has population of 16 million). From there it went to England, Belgium, France, Sweden and recently even Indonesia," noted Marc Wortmann, Excutive Director of Alzheimer's Disease International. ADI is an international federation of Alzheimer associations around the world, in official relations with the World Health Organization. Similar to others who seek to foster support and awareness, ADI provides the latest data and research information from a global perspective.
As so much of the disease is still a mystery to scientists, doctors and care givers agree, support and community involvement is one of the keys in helping to combat the disease. Having a support group or outreach at a grass roots level is essential.
Long-time SHARP member John Barry urged the members of SHARP and its governing committee to welcome the Memory Care Cafe. "I think the outreach and support Patricia and Debora provide through this innovative approach is important and needed," he said. "I personally know of people who suffer from Alzheimer's and I think this is the very thing that SHARP should be helping to support."
Initially founded over a century ago in 1910, SHARP is among the oldest neighborhood associations in the City. Active members and its governing committee-board constantly reach out to the neighborhood with monthly meetings, talks and activities designed to inform, inspire and gather the community together. Ris sees the use of the SHARP meeting house as ideal.
This will allow Memory Care Cafe staff to get acquainted with the community and learn what the needs are and how to structure the outreach. Ris noted that of the 5 million nationwide that suffer from Alzheimer's, "there are more than 23,000 people in San Francisco that have the disease." She also pointed out that the Memory Care Cafe is designed to also help meet the needs of the care-providers of those with Alzheimer's.
As the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, 15.5 million caregivers provided an estimated 17.7 billion hours of unpaid care valued at more than $220 billion for Alzheimer's. Most of those dedicated care-providers are woman.
"Many people of the Baby-boomer generation don't think of themselves as seniors," she said. And, so many do not come forward to get help. While on average more women are the care-providers than men, for those with Alzheimer's, the risk for women over 65 developing the disease is greater than cancer. According to The Alzheimer's Association, 1 in 6 woman over 65 will develop the disease.
Some analysts predict that if not attended to comprehensively, over the next three decades the number of Alzheimer's sufferers will more than triple. Ris and staff at the Memory Care Cafe believe addressing needs at the community level is the best way to begin to manage the disease.
For more information about the Memory Care Cafe outreach to The Sunset at SHARP meetinghouse which began on Feb. 24, please contact Patricia Ris at (415) 309-7963. Or visit the web site.
More about Alzheimer's, Alzheimer's disease, Sharp, Sunset District, San Francisco
More news from
Latest News
Top News