Willowbrook Memory Support Residences began their first Forget-Me-Not Café in the summer of 2015 with Tuscan Hills Winery in Effingham. These co-sponsors wanted a to create a place that lifts the fog of social isolation for patients and caregivers of dementia. Forget-Me-Not Café is not a structured support group, but an initiative for individuals with early to middle stages of dementia and their spouse or other caregivers in a purely social, non-judgmental gathering that offers enrichment to the life of those living with dementia. Volunteers have received training on the different types of dementia and the fundamentals of communicating with and addressing the needs of the individuals who attend the outings.
Forget-Me-Not Cafe is part of the Alzheimer’s Cafe concept which began in Europe and was brought to the United States by Jyette Lokving, Ph.D. She has been quoted saying “My hope is for every community in the country to have at least one cafe of its own. The Cafe is a simple and yet powerful project that impacts the lives of people living with dementia and everyone it their circles.”
Willowbrook Memory Support Residences sponsors two Forget-Me-Not Cafés, one in Effingham, which is on the National Registry of dementia friendly initiates, and the newest in Champaign. Effingham’s Forget-Me-Not Café takes place on the 4th Tuesday of the Month at Tuscan Hills Winery at 2200 Historic Hills Dr., Effingham, IL and is co-sponsored with Tuscan Hills Winery. Champaign’s Forget-Me-Not takes place on the first Tuesday of the month at Papa Del’s Pizza Factory at 1201 S. Neil St., Champaign, IL and is co-sponsored with OSF Healthcare and Papa Del’s Pizza Factory.