'Memory Cafe' Creates Community For People With Cognitive Issues


Thursday, August 11th 2022, 5:23 pm



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First Baptist Church of Tulsa is helping people with memory problems by hosting a fun event. The Memory Cafe also featured a special guest.

The monthly event gives Tulsans with cognitive issues or other illnesses a chance to meet up and have a safe space to socialize.

Susan Dornblaser is the creator of the Memory Cafe and said this is a huge need for a community that has been underserved.

"Memory Cafes are well known throughout the world and the US," Dornblaser said. "Oklahoma did not have one, Tulsa did not have one."

Organizers bring in several speakers to make every meeting interesting for guests.

Thursday's guest was Tulsa Fire Department Chief Michael Baker, who spoke about the importance of fire safety for those with disabilities.

"This is the best way....one on one, face to face interactions with folks," Baker said. "Hear their questions, hear their stories and help share what's going on and how they can be safe."

Margaret Bulmer is a volunteer at the Memory Cafe and said this is one of her favorite things to do. She said for her, this cause hits close to home.

"I have a family member....actually my brother that has dementia, and so it gives me opportunities to learn more ways to relate to him," Bulmer said.

Dornblaser said people with cognitive issues tend to isolate once symptoms arise, so she makes sure that the doors are always open to those who need it most.

"It may look like they're healthy and fully well on the outside, and on the inside, they may not be," Dornblaser said. So, programs like these are incredibly important.

Memory Cafe meets on the second Thursday of every month.

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