Glenmeadow to Host Monthly Memory Café, Beginning July 25
Program for people with Alzheimer’s or another dementia will focus on enjoyment and companionship
LONGMEADOW—Glenmeadow will hold its first monthly Memory Café for people with Alzheimer’s or another dementia and their caregivers on Wednesday, July 25 from 1-2:30 p.m.
Caregivers are invited to bring a loved one to the program to enjoy relaxed conversation with others. Light refreshments will be offered.
Future Memory Cafés at Glenmeadow will be held on the fourth Wednesday of the month, at the same time, and Laura Lavoie, director of life enrichment at the life plan community, said an organized activity—such as yoga, a drumming circle or creating a gratitude journal—will be offered.
“The first Memory Café is a welcome and a chance for people to get to know one another,” Lavoie said.
The program is free and open to those in Greater Springfield. For more information or to RSVP, contact Lavoie at 413-355-5905 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lavoie said Memory Cafés are offered across the globe; in this region, they are provided through many senior centers or councils on aging. She said the Glenmeadow program will not offer a support group atmosphere, and its focus will not be on medical care.
“It’s a place for people to go with their care partner,” she said. “It’s a place for people to enjoy themselves, reconnect in a supportive atmosphere with one another and also meet others who are experiencing the same thing. It’s a chance for people to focus on gratitude and the positive.”
As part of its strategic plan, Glenmeadow has enhanced its focus on dementia care. The Memory Café is one of several new programs that seek to provide resources and support for people with Alzheimer’s or another dementia and their caregivers.
Glenmeadow’s Caregivers Support Group is offered monthly to professionals and family members who are assisting someone with Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia. It continues in July with a meeting on July 3 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. and July 19 from noon to 1 p.m.
The support group is also open to the public; meetings are held monthly at 24 Tabor Crossing on the first Tuesday and the third Thursday. In August, the group will be held Aug. 7 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. and Aug. 16 from noon to 1 p.m. In September, meetings will be held Sept. 4 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. and Sept. 21 from noon to 1 p.m.
“We have made a commitment to offering more programs that are dementia-focused,” Lavoie said. “We are trying to support people living with dementia and their families.”
Glenmeadow is also part of the Dementia Friendly Longmeadow initiative, through which varying programs are held throughout the year in Longmeadow.
Established in 1884, Glenmeadow is a nonprofit, accredited life plan community; it provides independent and assisted living at its campus at 24 Tabor Crossing in Longmeadow and expanded Glenmeadow at Home services throughout greater Springfield.
To learn more about Glenmeadow and its history and offerings, visit www.glenmeadow.org.
In the 1800s, elderly individuals without family or means were sent to live at what was called “the poor farm.” In 1884, a group of civic leaders raised funds among themselves and other area families and purchased a house on Main Street in Springfield’s south end, establishing The Springfield Home for Aged Women. Quickly outgrowing that house, land was purchased on the corner of Chestnut and Carew streets, where a new home was constructed and opened in 1900. In 1960, the name was changed to Chestnut Knoll, and, in 1992, it began to admit men.
In 1993, the organization purchased a 23-acre parcel in Longmeadow to build a new community that would provide both independent living and assisted living in one building with various common areas. This was a new concept known as a continuing care retirement community. Existing residents from the old Chestnut Knoll property were moved to the new campus in 1997. Shortly after the move, the board voted to change its legal name to Glenmeadow to coincide with the name being used by the developer of the property.
Continuing care retirement communities are now referred to as life plan communities, responding to the needs of the aging population with new opportunities for care, plus creative, educational and personal exploration. Glenmeadow offerings, which include everything from senior living options and handyman services to personal care and travel programs, are provided at its Longmeadow campus and across the region through Glenmeadow at Home. Glenmeadow strives to fulfill its mission of nurturing the whole person in mind, body and spirit.