Founders of Topsfield’s Rest.Stop.Ranch to Discuss Memory Café at Topsfield Congregational Church on November 20 2016

Jeanne Maurand of Hamilton and her father, Bob Yntema of Ipswich, relax in the garden at Rest.Stop.Ranch in Topsfield, MA.

Jeanne Maurand of Hamilton and her father, Bob Yntema of Ipswich, relax in the garden at Rest.Stop.Ranch in Topsfield, MA.

In recognition of November being National Family Caregiver Month, Mary E. MacDonald and her spouse, Karl R. Ackerman, will speak at the Topsfield Congregational Church Emerson Center on Sunday, November 20 at 11 am, about the Memory Café they offer at their Topsfield, MA Rest.Stop.Ranch. The public is welcome to attend this free program. Herself a survivor of a difficult dementia-care journey, Mary became a certified life coach, group leader, and Kripalu Yoga teacher, and founded MaryMac Missions and Rest.Stop.Ranch in 2010. Mary holds an M.A. degree in Pastoral Ministry from Boston College and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Rochester with a B.A. degree in Psychology and German.

At Rest.Stop.Ranch, their Topsfield home, Mary and Karl offer two services for long-term-caregivers and people of all ages who are living with chronic illness and disability. One is a monthly Sunday Stroll and Memory Café in their wheelchair-accessible gardens (April – October), and the other is a two-hour Guided Individual Respite Retreat at the Caretaker’s Cottage (year-round, by appointment with Mary). The beautiful wheelchair-accessible gardens at Rest.Stop.Ranch provide a renewing environment for caregivers, care receivers, and survivors of long-term care. Every Memory Café event offers a multi-therapeutic approach, through horticulture, music, movement and art. Social, emotional, and spiritual support is available through interactions with specially trained staff and volunteers.

The Memory Café at the Rest.Stop.Ranch is featured in a new book, The Alzheimer’s and Memory Café: How to Start and Succeed with Your Own Café (Jytte Fogh Lokvig, PhD, Endless Circle Press, 2016). The Memory Café at Rest.Stop.Ranch is unique among similar ventures in the US and abroad in that it offers beautiful wheelchair-accessible gardens as a respite for caregivers as well as the people they are caring for. It’s a peaceful, wheelchair-accessible garden that offers a safe and judgment-free environment where caregivers and their loved ones find a respite from the emotional turmoil and pressures of long-term illness and care. Memory Cafés provide regular gatherings in friendly spaces where people living with forgetfulness — and their caregivers — can relax and form friendships for mutual support. Learn more about the global Memory Café movement at: For more information, visit or Contact: Mary MacDonald, 978-887-4202 or

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