Serving as a break, a means of learning and experience for persons experiencing dementia and those that look after them … is being provided from time to time with the organisation of what is known as the ‘Memory Café’.
The Department for the Elderly and Community Care in collaboration with the Dementia Society have initiated this ‘Café’ so that dementia sufferers and their carers can meet informally to socialise and share experiences.
The coordinator of Dementia Care within the Ministry for the Family and Social Solidarity, Alex Gobey, said it is of great help when people share their experiences with others rather than keeping everything to themselves. This is the scope of the ‘Memory Café’ which also includes professionals that can give their advice.
Gobey said the main occurrence is that of ‘caregiver stress’ in which the person caring for a person with dementia experiences certain emotions and stresses that accumulate over a period of time. This happens for various reasons but each case differs as well as the difficulties involved.
‘Memory Café’ is held on a bi-monthly basis in different localities and the third session was held at Arka ta’ Noe in Siggiewi. The Parliamentary Secretary for the Active Elderly, Anthony Agius Decelis, said the initiative forms part of the calendar of carers who look after dementia sufferers at the San Vincenz de Paule Residence as well as within the community. He said the plan is establish a team in each region of the Maltese Islands.
In Malta there are 6,000 dementia sufferers and this number is expected to rise to 13,000 by the year 2050 because people are living longer.
The Malta Dementia Society has a Facebook page and the Dementia Helpline on 1771 provides information as to the next ‘Memory Café’ session to follow.