It is the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare and both in the Club and Connections programs we have been recalling our school days when we were encouraged to learn and recite from plays including Macbeth, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet as well as the formidable Merchant of Venice!

It is quite remarkable how these brain stretching plays left an indelible impression on the minds of our participants. When challenged by our program leaders some were able to recall and clearly recite famous lines from these plays. Once again we witnessed renewed self esteem particularly when they matched the words to the exact play! How many of us can do that today?

A few appropriate Shakespeare quotations come to mind, namely: “We know what we are, but not what we may be” and “This above all – to thine self be true” – both from Hamlet.

“If music be the food of love, play on” from Twelfth Night serves to remind us how important musical therapy can be to someone diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. At Memory Matters every day program contains music enjoyed by the participants, usually in an interactive manner. Also enjoyed by the volunteers too!

A few words on dignity before I sign off on this blog. Dignity is a keyword for all of us. We emphasize this to every staff member and volunteer. So for those participants who, for example cannot recall or recite lines from Shakespeare or any other literature, we make absolutely sure we do not make them feel uncomfortable but give them every opportunity to succeed by simply taking part and contributing. In such cases we say there is no right or wrong answer. Similar to the Olympic Games, the joy is in taking part!

Please share this if you believe it could help someone.

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