From the Desk of CEO Judy Halper: November 2020

From the Desk of CEO Judy Halper

JFCS excited to announce launch of Memory Cafe program

Current events require all of us to pay close attention to details we might never have given much thought to in the past. Washing our hands copiously, making sure we have facemasks at the ready, eye-balling distances of six or more feet for proper physical distancing, and being thoughtful about other safety measures ensures we are taking care of our friends, neighbors, co-workers, family members, and complete strangers, while also taking care of ourselves.

I believe that most of the time, most of us operate with a human desire to be conscientious and kind in order to be regarded as doing the morally right thing—thank goodness! Who would want to live with an alternative set of guidelines and rules? But all of this maneuvering and striking the balance of safety and basic consideration can also come at a cost to us.

Self-care is not just something for personal indulgence. Self-care and caretaking go hand-in-hand in a world in which increasingly, many of us are physically and emotionally involved with the daily tasks of people we live with, and generations of people (older adults and young families) who rely on us as well. Accurately, a label has been given to this phenomena – “the sandwich generation caregiving burnout.” While not brand new, it appears to be here for good.

Living longer lives means we will be both a caregiver and care receiver at some point. Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis is excited to be launching a new program called Memory Café (which will be virtual at first, and in-person when safety allows for that.) It specifically targets individuals living with memory loss, dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, and those who serve in a caregiver capacity.

Memory Café provides programming, support, acceptance and social connection for both caregivers and those affected by memory loss. The program originated in Europe and has been serving both those with memory loss and caregivers with great results. Addressing isolation, offering support, and providing opportunities for pleasant activity demonstrates better outcomes for both groups, including a sense of normalcy and increased energy and overall health and well-being for caregivers.

We look forward to sharing our program with the community, and thank our donors who have supported our development of Memory Café – the Machov Family in memory of Leo & Aileen Eisenstatt. Thank you to all of you who serve as caregivers, and remember how essential it is for you to support and maintain your health and spirit.