Care Insights & Ideas
Memory Care Café – SF Outings for People with “Forgetfulness”
Join Bay Area Alzheimer’s and dementia care partners for fun activities, light respite, and community.
Is your caregiver to-do list keeping you at home? Are memory problems causing feelings of isolation for you or a loved one? Do you wish you could connect with others who understand? San Francisco’s Memory Care Café offers a solution by bringing caregivers and their loved ones with “forgetfulness” together for activities and outings around the City. Join in if you could use some friendly support from others who share your challenges—and interests.
Memory Care Café is a social group for people with early-stage Alzheimer’s or dementia and their care partners. This nonprofit organizes free weekly outings and activities that help participants stay active and engaged in life together.
Lunch at All Good Pizza in Bayview-Hunter’s Point on one of Memory Care Café’s neighborhood explorations that also included a visit to Flora Grubb Gardens.
“People who are aging at home usually live with spouses or family members and don’t have all the activities available to them that they would in a residential care community,” says co-founder and program director, Patricia Ris. “We wanted to help get people who are at risk of isolation out of the house in a welcoming, safe, supportive group of friends.” Recognizing that some of the built-in benefits of care facilities—like a sense of community and a wealth of activities—may be missing for those aging at home, Memory Care Café seeks to fill the gap. Participants enjoy a more fulfilled, engaged life.
Some members participate with their spouses, others with care professionals. “We call it ‘light respite’ because it gives the caregiver a friendly, light-hearted environment where they can share ideas or resources,” Ris adds. Lunches are also attended by Memory Care Café’s development director and its other co-founder, Debora Tingley, a gerontologist. Tingley checks in privately with caregivers to offer support and information regarding memory challenges.
An outing to SF’s Pier 24 Photography to see “Secondhand,” a photography exhibition by artists who use found images in their artwork.
The group meets every Tuesday in San Francisco, and hosts events every fourth Friday of the month. Recent San Francisco activities have included forgetful-friendly bocce, art gallery visits, movement and dance classes, window shopping, a Japanese Tea Garden stroll, and a mandala-making workshop. “Our activities depend on the interests and capabilities of the group,” says Ris. “We plan around what people want and need, and consider the mobility of our participants.”
In addition to San Francisco-based activities, Memory Care Café also has Marin and East Bay (Berkeley) meetups, which San Francisco participants are welcome to join. To learn more, please visit memorycarecafe.org or call Memory Care Café at (415) 309-7963. Take a weekly break from your daily caregiver routine and go on a fun outing together. You’ll explore San Francisco in a whole new way—and be in good company.
If your loved one wants to attend a Memory Care Café gathering, but you can’t join them, call Honor at (877) 777-5116. One of our Care Pros can take care of the transportation to and from the outing and provide companionship during the activity.