PEOPLE living with dementia and their families are encouraged to share a cuppa in Innaloo.
Balcatta resident Joan Milne has helped to establish a Memory Cafe, which aims to provide a way for people to socialise with others who are in similar situations.
She decided to start the social group after her and her husband Kevin, who was diagnosed with dementia in 2012, attended a Memory Cafe at Garden City Shopping Centre in Booragoon.
“I liked the idea so much and saw how much people were interacting,” she said.
“It was a really healthy atmosphere.
“My husband had a ball.”
Mrs Milne contacted the City of Stirling, which began searching for suitable locations, before settling on The Coffee Club at Westfield Innaloo.
Centre management, including the chief executive, and cafe staff received training from Alzheimer’s WA on dementia and how best to interact with clients.
Representatives from Alzheimer’s WA and the City’s community services team will attend the monthly sessions.
“They’ve gone way, way beyond what would be expected,” she said.
Mrs Milne said the Memory Cafe was beneficial to both parties.
“There’s no stigma, clients and carers are just interacting with no formal structure,” she said.
“It’s a very, very positive thing.”
Coffee Club owner Sasha Martin believed the initiative would help to remove stigma and social anxiety that was sometimes attached to dementia.
“We hope that the Memory Cafe will provide a support network and point of contact for people living with dementia to discover resources in a friendly environment,” she said.
According to Stirling Mayor Mark Irwin, the City had the highest rate of dementia in WA and he hoped the group could make a difference to local people living with dementia and their families.
The Memory Cafe runs on the first Tuesday of the month from 2.30pm at Coffee Club Innaloo.