Alzheimer Café opens in Donegal

Up to 100 people attend the new café in Letterkenny 

By Declan Magee

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By Declan Magee

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editorial@donegaldemocrat.com

Alzheimer Café opens in Donegal

Gerry Robinson officially opens the Alzheimer Café at the Silver Tassie Hotel in Letterkenny

A new cafe which offers much more than great scones and cake opened its doors for the first time on Thursday morning.

The Alzheimer Café at the Silver Tassie Hotel in Letterkenny will run on the first Thursday of every month.

It is a place where people living with dementia and their carers can spend time with other people who are having similar experiences. A relaxed, secure and sociable atmosphere will be accompanied by talks by medical professionals and people who are affected by dementia.

The number of people with dementia is set to double in Ireland from 48,000 in the next 20 years.

The café is the second of its kind in the county, after the recent opening of one in Carrick. Both are run by the Alzheimer Society with support from Donegal County Council and the HSE.

The idea of such a meeting place for people affected by dementia developed in the Netherlands from the idea of psychologist Dr Bere Miesen. The development of such cafés in Donegal has been an aim of the Donegal branch of The Alzheimer Society of Ireland for some time, and it is now hoped that the concept will be rolled out to other locations across the county.

Addressing the opening, Professor Ken Mulpeter of Letterkenny University Hospital said the label of having dementia can be a disservice to the patient.

“There is an increasing disconnect between the different ages in society,” he said. “There is not any value based on the wisdom of age. There is a sense that once you finish work and and are retired that you are not of any economic good and I think that is a great mistake.”

The cafe is open from 11am to 1pm on the first Thursday of every month. Visit www.alzheimer.ie for more.