A Memory Cafe will be held at Cozzi Cafe in Paddock Lake once per month (Jason Arndt/The Report).

Program offered once per month

By Jason Arndt

Courtesy of a community partnership, including a business owner, the first Memory Cafe west of Interstate 94 expects to open Nov. 20 at Cozzi Cafe and Bakeshop.

The memory cafe, which is co-sponsored by Dementia Care Coaching along with Memory, Mind and Motion Wellness Center and Cozzi Cafe and Bakeshop, offers a safe social setting for residents with memory loss and their caregivers in a supportive and engaging environment.

Additionally, in a safe social setting, the memory café looks to break barriers residents with memory loss often experience when they are out in the general public.

Owner Cindy Lester of Memory, Mind and Motion Wellness, believes Cozzi Cafe on Highway 50 in Paddock Lake is an ideal location for the memory café, adding the program is an amazing opportunity.

“We thought it would be a nice platform for our memory cafe,” said Lester. “A memory cafe is a wonderful and magical thing for those with dementia and their caregivers.”

Dementia, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, is a general term used to describe a cognitive decline severe enough to hinder with daily life tasks.

More than 5 million Americans live with Alzheimer’s or another dementia, the national organization states.

According to Cozzi Cafe and Bakeshop owner Maria Veith, when Lester and her co-partner Linda Johnson of Dementia Care and Coaching presented her with the proposal, she voiced support for the program.

“I just thought it was a really great program and a great way to get involved in the community,” Veith said. “I am really behind it, it is a great way to bring everybody together.”

At a Glance

WHO: Residents with memory loss and their caregivers

WHAT: Memory Cafe

WHEN: Third Monday of the month from 1 until 2:30 p.m.

WHERE: Cozzi Cafe and Bakeshop, 24123 75th St., Paddock Lake

COST: Free

RSVP: Required by the Friday before each month’s session. To make a reservation, call Linda Bocanegra-Johnson 262-997-5730 or Cindy Lester 262-210-9783.

Decades of experience
Between Lester and Johnson, the duo has at least 25 years experience in the industry, which include activities and dementia care.

Lester, whose business is in the City of Burlington, has been devoted to helping those with memory loss.

“Linda and I have very similar backgrounds in dementia care, we are both dementia specialists and have been in the industry for many years,” she said. “We have a passion for it.”

Along with Lester and Johnson, the duo plans to bring in community volunteers, who expect to take dementia training sessions to prepare for helping those with memory loss.

With volunteers, Lester plans to coordinate several activities, including themes for each month.

“We have a bunch of actives that we are going to be engaging these folks in,” said Lester.

As the duo plans activities, the opportunity allows them to contribute directly to the community where they live, with both residing in the Village of Salem Lakes.

While Lester lives in the former Town of Salem area, Johnson is a resident in the former Village of Silver Lake region.

“It is just a great way to give back to the community,” Lester said.

For residents interested in joining a session, they are encouraged to register by the Friday before each Monday session.


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