Club Memory is a stigma-free social club for people with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease, mild cognitive impairment or other forms of dementia and their spouses, partners and caregivers. Based on the memory café model popular in Europe, this club began with a small group of people coming together in Sibley’s cafeteria in September 2011. Since its inception, Club Memory has continued to grow exponentially, in response to members’ and community needs, with membership growing from 10 to over 120 members in just two years. In 2012, Club Memory formed a partnership with Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church (MMUMC) and now holds its twice-monthly meetings in MMUMC’s stunning Great Hall. The Great Hall is a large, beautifully lit room that easily accommodates 30 to 50 members. At regular meetings, which take place on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month, members enjoy light refreshments and coffee while engaging in independent activities, such as board games, puzzles, sing-alongs, trivia and challenges, sharing of resources and conversing.
At Club Memory, conversation, camaraderie and even laughter among peers who truly understand each other open the doorway to living life to its fullest in the face of a dementia diagnosis. In addition to the twice-monthly meetings, social and cultural events are coordinated for Club Memory members as an optional weekly outing. Events have included lunching at local restaurants like the Irish Inn at Glen Echo, touring local museums, such as the Hillwood and the Kreeger, going on photography tours to the United States Botanic Garden and enjoying guided tours of places like Lincoln’s Cottage and the National Arboretum. Club Memory also offers a support group for people with a diagnosis of dementia. Support groups meet twice a month just prior to Club Memory’s regular meetings at MMUMC.
If you or someone you care about has been diagnosed with early-stage Alzheimer’s, mild cognitive impairment or any other form of dementia, know that there is hope and support for you and your family. Please contact Anne Gosling or Marti Bailey at 202-364-7602 to learn more about Club Memory.