Memory Care Cafe

Memory Care Cafe

There are over 1,000 people living in Nillumbik with dementia. Together with Health Ability Eltham and Nillumbik Council, St John’s is hosting a community support venture called the Memory Care Café.

The Memory Care Cafe in Diamond Creek operates on each 2nd and 4th Wednesday, from 1:30-3 pm

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 is open from 1.30 – 3pm on Wednesday afternoons at St John’s, 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 facilitates 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 assist the facilitator by joining in the games/craft and conversation and assisting with refreshments.

Carers can 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 are also 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 person’s care package or by fee waiver application (if applicable).

What are the next steps?

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 are invited to attend either or both venues thus providing a 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.

St John’s Memory Care Café operates each 2nd and 4th Wednesday from 1:30-3pm.

If you would like to know more about the Memory Care Café or register your interest, please call Rachel Dunn on 9430 9125 or email

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.