St John's Diamond Creek Menu

Memory Care Cafe

Supporting those with Memory Loss

In conjunction with Health Ability Eltham and Nillumbik Council, St John’s will host a new community support venture called a Memory Care Café.

The Memory Care Café concept seeks to provide a social meeting place for those living with Dementia and their carers, to gather and enjoy a coffee/tea and conversation with each other.

The first Nillumbik Memory Care Café, which has been operating in Hurstbridge for just over a year, has proven a huge success creating a space for networking and friendship among carers (who are often unaware of others in the same caring situation) as well as a happy and relaxing place for those living with Dementia, providing a break from normal routine and an opportunity to be involved in a range of guided activities. Because of the success of the Hurstbridge Café, initiatives for two new cafés, one in Diamond Creek (at St John’s) and one in Eltham (at St. Margaret’s) have been taken.

How will Diamond Creek Café operate?

The café will be open from 1.30 – 3pm on Wednesday afternoons at St John’s and will be run by Health Ability Staff in conjunction with volunteers. Those attending the café need to be accompanied by their carer (for safety and security reasons). A Health Ability Staff member will facilitate activities (board games, crafts etc.) for those living with Dementia with each participant being free to be involved in the activities, or if preferred, just observe. Volunteers will assist the facilitator by joining in the games/craft and conversation and assisting with refreshments.

Carers will have the opportunity to meet in a separate area for a chat, and a volunteer may help facilitate introductions and conversation where necessary. (At the Hurstbridge café, carers look forward to meeting each other, sharing experiences and discussing care issues etc.) Health Ability staff would also be on hand to provide advice regarding the range of support services available through government agencies, community organisations and other networks.

Afternoon tea is made available throughout the afternoon.

A nominal cost of $5.00 is charged for those living with Dementia which can be deducted from the persons care package or by fee waiver application (if applicable)

Volunteering at the café

To run effectively the café requires 3 – 4 volunteers in addition to the Health Ability staff to assist with afternoon tea and to involve participants in conversation and the activities.

All volunteers must complete an introductory training session and some compliance checks at no cost to themselves and volunteers assisting in the kitchen must undertake a simple food safety certificate online.

What are the next steps?

Health Ability staff would like to open the café by the end of September or early October and are now seeking volunteers. An information session for those interested in volunteering is scheduled for Wednesday September 21st from 1.30 – 3.00 pm.

An afternoon tea to invite interested participants is scheduled for Wednesday September 28th from 1:30 – 3:00pm.

Initially, the plan is to open both the Diamond Creek and the Eltham cafés on a fortnightly basis on alternating weeks. (1st and 3rd Tuesday afternoons at St. Margaret’s and 2nd and 4th Wednesday afternoons at St John’s). Participants will be invited to attend either or both venues thus providing weekly connection with others if they desire. Once both cafés are established and each community’s needs are known, it is envisaged that both cafés may open weekly – provided there is sufficient volunteer and Health Ability staff support.

An Exciting Opportunity

This is an exciting opportunity for the St. John’s community to be involved in this new initiative in Diamond Creek, and provides an ideal connection with our wider community offering much-needed support for those living with Dementia.

If you are interested in volunteering at the Memory Care Café at St John’s or would like more information, let us know.