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Alzheimer's Café: A Place for Patients, Caregivers to Recharge

They can share life stories, experiences

Nova Scotia recently added a special kind of café among its many — one designed to meet the needs of people with Alzheimer's disease.

See also: In museums, those with Alzheimer's find themselves again.

The café is Canada's first, following a popular trend that took off in the Netherlands 14 years ago. Alzheimer's cafés offer a safe and supportive space for patients, caregivers and loved ones to share similar experiences and chat over refreshments.

Each café varies in setting, from schools to pubs. The concept has resonated most with Europeans: More than 60 cafés exist in the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom is home to some 20. The United States launched its first in Santa Fe, N.M., in 2008.

"It gives people permission to be themselves," says Alzheimer's expert Jytte Lokvig, who operates Santa Fe's café, held monthly in a children's museum.