As of this February, the Alzheimer’s Café here at the New Hampshire SPCA has been going strong for one year! We are so thrilled that the program has been successful and well received. Individuals experiencing memory loss and their caregivers have been regularly joining us once each month to enjoy each other’s company, eat treats, sip coffee and of course spend time with some animals!
With approximately 8 to 10 visitors at every Café, there is a lot of opportunity for people to connect and chat with one another and benefit from the interactions with friendly animals. Our volunteers are experienced in the world of memory care and are excellent hosts initiating lively conversation and fun. Occasionally, we have a project or a game of trivia to change things up. During the summer months, campers facilitated visits from the classroom animals to the Café, helped guests interact and told us interesting facts about the animals. This was a wonderful opportunity to bring together different generations and add a new dynamic to the Café schedule that we look forward to having again this summer!
Many guests return regularly, and it has been great getting to know people as the months have gone by. It has started to feel like a monthly gathering of friends. New folks join all the time and we have enjoyed seeing smiles on the faces of people who get to pet a guinea pig, hear the cockatiels sing or get a kiss from sweet Coco, a cute little pup owned by one of the staff here. We have had special visits from one of the German Shepherd rescue dogs, a peanut-loving pot-bellied pig named Hank, sweet orange tabby kittens, and a joyful Plott-Lab mix named Abbie who just longed for belly rubs!
We are so happy to be able to offer this fun and unique opportunity for people with memory loss and their caregivers to take a brief break from the regular routine, relax in a welcoming environment, laugh with one another and share the company of some charming and adorable furry friends.
The Alzheimer’s Café at the New Hampshire SPCA in Stratham takes place on the second Thursday of each month from 1pm to 3pm.
Questions, please contact Kate, the Community Programs Coordinator [email protected] / 603-772-2921 x 147.