This groundbreaking initiative is poised to offer a haven of inclusivity and camaraderie for individuals from the LGBTIQ+ communities who are living with dementia and their devoted caregivers. Through the establishment of a vibrant pop-up café, participants will have the opportunity to engage in social interactions while relishing refreshments and entertainment.
Extensive research underscores the prevalence and profound impact of social isolation and stigma faced by those living with dementia. In response, the transformative Memory Lane Café program, spearheaded by Dementia Australia and embraced nationwide, is rewriting this narrative. Dementia Australia National Patron Ita Buttrose emphasised that conventional social functions can often pose challenges for individuals living with dementia.
“The new Memory Lane Café – Victorian Pride Centre will provide a welcoming, relaxing and fun venue for people living with dementia, and their carers, to meet, interact and foster meaningful connections within the community,” Ita said.
She continued, “Creating safe and inclusive social environments is tremendously important for all people impacted by dementia. I congratulate Lifeview and Victorian Pride Centre for their recognition of the need for this Memory Lane Cafe and their invaluable support in making this initiative a reality.”
Dementia Advocate Anne Tudor also expressed the elation of the LGBTIQ+ elders impacted by dementia at the prospect of a dedicated, secure space for Memory Lane Cafés.
“It will provide much comfort for members of our community, young and old, to know the Café will be supported by kindred spirits at our Pride Centre,” Anne affirmed.
Victorian Pride Centre CEO Justine Dalla Riva underscored the significance of establishing a Memory Lane Café at this unique location, recognising the presence of individuals within the LGBTIQ+ community who are living with dementia or tending to someone with dementia.
“As Australia’s first purpose-built centre for LGBTIQ+ people, we understand the power of creating spaces where people can share their lived experience and build connections in a welcoming and inclusive environment,” Justine elucidated.
“Our collaboration with Dementia Australia and Lifeview reflects our commitment to surmounting the hurdles faced by LGBTIQ+ individuals when accessing conventional spaces. This initiative bridges the gap of social isolation experienced by those within LGBTIQ+ communities who are living with dementia,” Justine added.
Lifeview CEO Samantha Jewell further enthused, “We are excited to see this vision come to life, and we welcome people living with dementia and their support persons to join us on this journey.”