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County disability services teams up with Pacific University for the Sept. 24 event.

Washington County Disability, Aging and Veteran Services is hosting Memory CafÉ, a support group for caregivers and people living with Alzheimer's disease, dementia and memory loss.

Memory CafÉ is presented in partnership with Pacific University from 1:30-3 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24 at Diversity Cafe, 2104 Main St. in Forest Grove. A musical performance by Pacific University students will provide entertainment, and complimentary cinnamon rolls and coffee will be served.

"Living with dementia and caring for someone with dementia can be very isolating," said organizer Kera Magarill, an older adult behavioral health specialist with Washington County. "Many people end up losing their family, their friends and their jobs. Memory CafÉ is an opportunity for these individuals to share and simply to gather."

This event is based on a national model, where a safe space is provided for people living with dementia and their caregivers can speak to others in the community about their experiences.

While the Memory CafÉ provides a break from the routine of caregiving and living with dementia, it is not meant to be a place where caregivers drop off the person in their care. Caregivers are encouraged to participate in the program as well.

Magarill, who organized Memory CafÉs in Colorado prior to her current position with Washington County, has seen some attendees talk more than they have in a long time at these events. Other times, people choose to sit quietly and participate in tactile activities.

"Guests can participate however they feel most comfortable," Magarill said. "There is something for everyone."

Reservations are not required. Those with questions can call the Family Caregiver Support Program at 503-846-3089.


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