Dementia cafés (also sometimes referred to as memory cafés) provide people living with dementia, and the people who regularly support them, an opportunity to meet and socialise with people who are facing a similar future in a friendly and supportive atmosphere.
How do I find my nearest café?
If you are worried about your memory (or that of someone close) but no formal diagnosis of dementia has been made, you are still welcome to visit your nearest café to find out more information about what may be concerning you.
Here is a list of dementia cafés in the Oxfordshire area:
- Abingdon – every Friday, 10:30-11:30am at 35 Ock Street Café, Abingdon
- Bicester – first and last Wednesday of the month, 10:30am-12:00pm at Bicester Methodist Church Hall, Victoria Road, Bicester
- Oxford – every 2nd Wednesday of the month, 1:30-3:00pm at St Margaret’s Institute, 30 Polstead Road, Oxford
Speak to your dementia adviser to find out what else is in your area.
Do I have to pay?
In most areas, dementia cafés are free to attend. Some groups may request a small contribution toward the cost of the refreshments on offer.
What to expect
A dementia café is not the same as a memory clinic, where a formal assessment and diagnosis of dementia can be made. Dementia cafés exist to provide information and support in a relaxed and informal environment. Cafés are run by skilled staff and supported by local volunteers who will be able to signpost you to the most appropriate sources of help for your needs.
Attending a café begins with a warm welcome and usually a cup of something to break the ice. There are often planned events on offer for those who wish to take part. These range from guest speakers (e.g. health professionals) to interesting taster activities such as painting or craft sessions, or themed reminiscence conversations (e.g. talking together about a favourite celebration) and the ever-popular chance to do some singing.
99% of people who have attended a dementia café say that they have been provided with useful information (Alzheimer’s Society, 2019).