Rotary International has a longstanding commitment to Alzheimer’s research through its Coins for Alzheimer’s Research Trust.
Memory Café is held monthly at the Cary Senior Center, providing dinner, fellowship and music.
“Music is essential because it’s a unifier and important for people with all types of dementia, even those who are non-verbal,” said Rotarian and organizer Brian Blum. “It’s amazing to see someone who is not very interactive remember an old tune and start singing, or get up and dance spontaneously.”
Gary and Cheri Gray of Cary have been attending Memory Café for eight months now.
“Gary enjoys the music, and is so excited by the time we leave,” said Cheri. “It’s a good, safe environment where all is understood, and you can take as much time as you need to eat.” Eileen and Bernhard Schneider, also of Cary, are regulars too.
“Excellent!” said Bernhard in his decidedly German accent. “We come one time, then all the time.”
“He loves it, and wouldn’t miss it for anything,” Eileen added. “Instead of trying to keep up with the conversation, here he gets to talk. We’ve made so many friends.”
On a recent evening, The Old School Band launched into singalong mode; around the room heads bobbed and fingers tapped on tables.
Gary closed his eyes, leaned back and sang heartily. Studying his happy face, Cheri smiled.
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[Image Source: The Cary Magazine]