The Aging in the Gorge Alliance has issued a challenge grant to support The Hood River County History Museum’s new Memory Café. During the months of February and March, donations made to the Memory Café program will be matched 1:1, up to the total of $1,500.

A Memory Café is a memory stimulation program for people with dementia. Museum objects, photos and music are used to spark memories for people experiencing dementia. Trained volunteers take artifacts from the collection to people with dementia, presenting and passing around the objects to share. The museum is collaborating with several partners, including the Sunshine Club and Brookside Manor, to expand the Memory Café program.

“Our goal is to expand the program to eventually make it available, in both English and Spanish, to families who care for their affected elders at home,” said Debby Chenoweth, chair of the Hood River County Heritage Council. The program is managed by the museum’s Jesuit Northwest AmeriCorps member, Addison Arnold.

The Alzheimer’s Association predicts that the number of adults experiencing dementia in Oregon will increase by 24.6 percent by 2025.

Donations can be made to the Hood River County Heritage Council, PO Box 781, Hood River, OR 97031 or brought to The History Museum at 300E Port Marina Drive. Write “dementia program” on your check.  Credit card payment can be made at the Museum or by calling 541-386-6772.

Those interested in volunteering with the Memory Cafe program at this History museum should email addisona@buffalo.edu.

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