Information and resources that support your role in caring for a loved one.

Caregivers caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s can get information and moral support at support groups. They can get some needed respite by taking their loved one to an adult day program.

But they are precious few opportunities for the caregiver and loved one to find any relief from the disease while doing something together.

Tammy Pozerycki is doing something about that. The owner and director of Pleasantries Adult Day Services in Marlborough, Pozerycki introduced the Create a Better Day Café a year ago. The Café, which is held at Pleasantries from 1-3 p.m. on the fourth Sunday of each month, offers people with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers a chance to step out of their regular routine and enjoy an afternoon in a warm and welcome atmosphere.

“Because people want to get out and be with other people,” explained Pozerycki of why she created the Cafe. “They feel embarrassed and want to hide due to the disease process. We give them a sense of comfort and security. It’s an accepting environment.”

The Café model originated in Europe, with Dutch psychiatrist Dr. Bere Miesen introducing the concept in 1997. It spread across Europe and reached the United States in 2008, when Copenhagen, Denmark native Dr. Jytte Fogh Lokvig began the first American Café in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Pozerycki brought the concept to the Bay State, opening the first Café in Massachusetts last year at Pleasantries. The Café sessions encourage socialization with loved ones and fellow caregivers and feature an afternoon of conversation, music, arts, games, refreshments and laughter.

There is no cost for attending and it is open to anyone at any stage of the disease process accompanied by friends, family and loved ones. Reservations are not required, but Pozerycki recommends calling Pleasantries at 508-481-0809 prior to attending in case the Café session is cancelled due to inclement weather or illness.

“Part of what I do is giving back to the community,” said Pozerycki, who also runs an Alzheimer’s caregiver support group that meets at Pleasantries from 6-8 p.m. on the second Monday of each month. “It’s part of what I have to do. The support group is more educational based and is only for caregivers. The Café is for both of them and is a chance to leave the disease at the door, be yourself and just enjoy it.”

The next Café will be held on Sunday, June 22 at Pleasantries (195 Reservoir Street, Marlborough, MA). For more information, contact Pozerycki at 508-481-0809.

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