Walfinch Southampton franchise helps create happy memories at new Memory Café

Home care franchise Walfinch Southampton is collaborating with local charity Caraway and St Peter’s Church Maybush to launch a new Memory Café in Potters Court, Maybush.

The café which opened on 20 June, will feature live music from local pianist Brian Budden – and the chance to sing along.

“Singing is good for physical and mental health, especially for people with dementia,” says Robin Boulter, Care Coordinator at Walfinch Southampton.

“I saw the benefits clearly, when as a carer I used to take one client with dementia out for a drive and we both sang along with music CDs. He’d return home a changed man.”

Robin, Southampton Walfinch franchisees Angela Harding and Laura Pineiro and members of the care team will also offer other activities at the monthly Memory Café, including dancing, crafts, picture quizzes and memory games.

“We’ll also be asking people who come along what they’d like to do, and then tailoring our activities to suit demand,” says Robin. “It’s important to give people a choice.”

Some of the Walfinch care team will be at each session to give families and carers a break, and to offer advice about help and services. “Caraway, for instance, offers free courses for people who are caring for loved ones with dementia and runs other community Memory Café,” says Robin.

The sessions, in Potters Court’s Community Room from 2 to 4 pm on the third Tuesday of every month, are free to attend, and will be open to anyone living at the Potters Court Extra Care Housing Unit, and anyone from the local community, plus families and carers. Tea, coffee, cold drinks and snacks will be available.

Caraway trustee Dr Ros Simpson, says: “This new collaborative project will bring lots of expert help and advice for our guests. A session for carers and people living with dementia is so needed in this area, and we have seen carers perk up, have fun and share their problems with each other at the memory cafes.”

Robin adds: “We’re looking forward to bring a wider choice of activities to Maybush – and to generating many happy memories.”

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