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West Falls, New York

Innovative and Exemplary:

The Musical Memories Café, located in rural West Falls, New York and nearby communities, provides shared respite experiences for persons with Alzheimer’s Disease and dementias and their caregivers, and other physically or socially isolated adults. Musical Memories Cafés offer regularly scheduled live music with local musicians and communal meals at community venues. Caregivers and care recipients, or multi-generational families –– including grandchildren and extended family –– can enjoy Musical Memories Cafés together as they connect with others in their community. Strong evaluation data collected by the Musical Memories Café program shows positive outcomes including reduced caregiver stress and improved caregiver-care recipient relationships. The program also shows the powerful social connections and emotional bonds that result from this experience through shared stories of spouses who lost loved ones but continued attending Musical Memories Cafés as volunteers. Musical Memories Cafés arranged “porch concerts” and take-out meals during the pandemic to reduce isolation and maintain social connections during the pandemic.

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