Apr 25, 2024 - News

Des Moines Library launches "memory cafes" for people with dementia

Illustration of coffee with steam in the the shape of a brain.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

The Des Moines Public Library recently launched monthly "memory cafes" — casual, social gatherings for people with dementia and their caregivers.

Why it matters: The space is meant to be a fun, social environment for people to connect — it's not a support group or a day care.

State of play: Jes McCauley, a Des Moines librarian, helped start the local program after learning about memory cafes in other cities.

  • Beyond having a place for people with dementia to connect, it's also a safe environment for their "care partners" to be around people in similar roles.

Zoom in: During the first meeting last month at Franklin Avenue Library, there were puzzles geared towards people with memory loss, as well as free snacks and beverages.

  • McCauley envisions incorporating more activities as the initiative grows.

If you go: Tomorrow at the North Side Library from 2-4pm.

  • Future events will be held at Franklin Avenue Library.
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