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Percolator Memory Café Network


Jewish Family & Children’s Service

Waltham, Massachusetts


The Percolator Memory Café Network (“Percolator”) reduces social isolation and increases meaningful activity and creative expression among people living with dementia and their caregivers by scaling access to high quality memory cafés throughout Massachusetts. The Percolator has enabled dementia support providers to share knowledge and resources rather than competing, thereby making Massachusetts home to the largest number of memory cafés in the nation. Accomplishments include supporting the launch of over 70 new memory cafés, including two Spanish speaking cafés and 13 cafés designed to include people who have both dementia and a developmental disability. The teaching artists—who lead dance, singing, drumming, theater games, poetry writing, art making, and more—share their expertise among the cafés.

JF&CS opened the second memory café in Massachusetts in spring 2014. Guests immediately asked for more hours and locations. JF&CS responded by starting the Percolator to help other organizations launch cafés, a sustainable approach that would foster cafés to fit each unique neighborhood. The Percolator has grown to 418 participants; 62 teaching artists participate in the guest artist directory; over 2,500 caregivers and persons with dementia participate in a café activity annually. The Memory Café Toolkit (also in Spanish) has been downloaded over 450 times since its release in August 2016. New community sectors, including two libraries and several houses of worship, have used the Toolkit for help in starting their own café.