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Citrus County restaurant featured at Memory Care Summit in Orlando

By Florida's Original NatureCoaster™ Posted on February 1, 2019

A restaurant in Citrus County that has been trained and certified Dementia Friendly was featured at the Seventh Annual Memory Care Summit held in Orlando January 22 through 24, 2019.  Organized by the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, the event brought together 70 healthcare professionals and medical researchers from a dozens states, including as far away as California.

Melanie Grob, Manager at the Hen House Café in Inverness, was invited to speak on the topic “Lessons Learned from a Local Dementia Friendly Business Owner” on the final day of the conference.

Grob relates, “I got a very warm reception and a lot of questions.  So many people were interested in this topic and asked how businesses in their town could receive training to become Dementia Friendly.”

The Hen House Café was the first of approximately 50 businesses and churches in Citrus County that have been trained and certified Dementia Friendly since 2014 when such training was initiated by Coping with Dementia LLC.

Grob is also a Certified Nursing Assistant, which gives her an additional perspective on the techniques of communicating and interacting with customers who may be living with dementia.

She states, “This has been such a rewarding experience because many of the Dementia Friendly techniques have helped us become better servers for all of our customers, including those who are not living with dementia.  It is a higher and more compassionate level of customer service that has paid off with increased traffic and repeat customers at our restaurant.”

The Hen House Café is owned by Kim Speckner who recently opened a second restaurant – The Diner – that has also been certified Dementia Friendly.

Photo Caption: Melanie Grob speaks to the Seventh Annual Memory Care Summit from her experience as the manager of a Citrus County business that has been trained and certified Dementia Friendly.