I cannot be grateful enough to Honora Precourt. While I had previously met her at a dinner party, she reentered my life shortly after Anne’s car accident and has been a wealth of support, resources, strength … everything she has done could be a post unto itself – oh wait! It was! This is post is suppose to be about Club Memory. Honora suggested Club Memory for Tom when he was first diagnosed with vascular dementia in June 2017.
“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.” They really need to update their description because it is lacking. Sibley Memorial Hospital provides many support group (see full list here) and while I have not needed to attend all of them, Club Memory is a brilliant program and this is coming from a non group / non support group person.
This group meets twice a month – a commitment, but not life consuming. The caregivers have their own support group for 1 hour while the care recipient is with their support group for 1 hour – one hour for you! Don’t worry… there are multiple groups of each so don’t worry. Plus the leaders are very good about placing your into the “right” group. Then everyone gathers together for all sorts of activities. This club is inclusive but I will say it is filled with smart people (lawyers, doctors, CIA, teachers – don’t worry – no college degree required).
Even if you don’t have a loved one with memory challenges borrow someone else’s or volunteer with this program. You will benefit from the support, love, compassion not just from the leaders, but from each memory challenged person and each caregiver. This is one of the few places a caregiver will find the love to refuel themselves. I will stay connected with the new friends I’ve met through this group long after I am no longer to attend and I will always financial support this program.