Our Cafés Are Social Peer Support Groups
In 2016, we were founded with the purpose of improving the wellbeing of people living with dementia. Inextricably linked to these people are their carers, family and community. We thought, what better way to harness and expand on these connections than through a café? An environment where people can come together for some relief, fun, conversation and shared experiences.
We achieved this by establishing intimate, volunteer-led social groups (cafés) which are located in local community houses, churches or lifestyle clubs.
Our cafés are best suited to individuals with early to mid-onset dementia (all types & ages) and includes a carers support program. People who attend the café, attend with their spouse, friends or family who happily take full responsibility for their loved one living with dementia.
All new couples must register their interest to attend online or e-mail before attending their first café. To protect the integrity of our café and in response to our members requests, we ask health care professionals to attend by invitation only please. Of course, all aged care and organisational brochures are very welcome.
We are funded by generous donations from our philanthropic partners and local grants from organisations who share our vision of empowering people with dementia.
Our Online Zoom Cafes
The second iteration of our café peer support model evolved from the necessity of meeting during Covid-19 lockdown periods. We now have the option to meet online when lockdowns prevent us from meeting in person. Each of these virtual groups are designed to decrease the feelings of isolation and keep those connections strong.
When COVID-19 lockdowns occurs, our online cafés immediately move to be weekly Zoom cafés for one hour and replace the 2 hour fortnightly meeting until we can meet face to face again.
All our members also have access to their personal café WhatsApp groups so they can chat throughout the week which has proven to be very popular was to stay connected.
All Umbrella Dementia Cafés are built on four core principles:
For people living with dementia, autonomy is often one of the first things lost. The activities and programs in each café are designed for members to rediscover their sense of autonomy, choice and personal agency. We promote independent choices following the ‘to do with, not for’ philosophy.
We open up the conversation about dementia and socially connect people in a positive, safe environment. We encourage members to collate ideas of living better and longer at home through shared knowledge, technology, research and innovation. Members are also connected with professionals or local businesses when needed.
Everyone involved in the community receives information and education about dementia, our cafés, how dementia diseases can be supported and what services or programs are available locally. We use the community in its entirety to bring about this awareness; including young people, local businesses and large national organisations.
We provide environments that adapt to people experiencing dementia- not the other way around. The café community understands how to include and engage with people living with dementia and is actively educating the volunteers, members and local businesses in how to do the same.
What to Expect
Blackburn | Umbrella Café
Blackburn North | Koonung Café
Box Hill South | Café Of Connections
Rosebud | Friendship Café
The Friendship Café opened on the 19th November 2019, welcoming over 35 people to this new café program on the Mornington Peninsula. This café has been so successful it influenced the launch of another Umbrella Dementia Café in Sorrento. The Friendship Café community are proud of their strong community connections, value meeting new people, love to have fun, are proactive in both sharing experiences and supporting each other. They meet ever fortnight on a Thursday morning and have access to the Community Hub's adjoining gardens.
This cafés is currently full. Please get in touch to go on the wait list.
Sorrento | Sorrento Café
Burwood | Cafe Title
If our cause is as close to your heart as it is ours, you may wish to join our community of volunteers. Giving back in a meaningful way can be incredibly rewarding. As a volunteer you will be directly supporting people living with dementia through 1:1 or group activities at your local the dementia café.
We always aim for a high ratio of volunteers in each of our cafés,
so please don't hesitate to get in touch with us.
You will be improving lives and contributing to the wider community of people experiencing dementia. Please contact us if you are interesting in being a part of our connected team.