The obvious answer is a connection to our past, an acknowledgement of what has made us who we are and a foundation on which to build our future.

However, if those memories become uncertain our sense of self is eroded and we struggle to understand the world in which we live.

The work that Dartmouth Caring undertakes in supporting those in our community affected by dementia is an important link in the chain of care.

The three ‘Memory Cafés’ run by the charity provide a meaningful venue where those coping with this distressing condition and their family members and carers can come together to gain support and share information.

As Sarah Farnsworth, the charity’s Dementia Support Worker made clear, the purpose of these meetings is not diagnostic or interventionist, rather they provide a forum for all present to socialise and engage with others. The very nature of the condition often leads to an increased sense of isolation, both for the sufferer and the carer and a chance to interact with others in a social situation is of significant value for all concerned.

An exciting addition to the two established Memory Cafés this year was the Creative Memory Café which is facilitated by Buffy Matheson. On the third Tuesday of every month, Buffy presents a new activity to those attending and a certain amount of hilarity ensues whilst clients, relatives, carers and volunteers try to hone their creative skills and arrive at a result which can at least be recognised as a something like Buffy’s original example!

If you, or a friend or relative would benefit from attendance at these social events they take place in the following order at the Townstal Community Hall in Davis Road from 10.30am:

  • 2nd Tuesday of every month: Memory Café
  • 3rd Tuesday of every month: Creative Memory Café
  • 4th Tuesday of every month: Musical Memory Café