Tony Bennett Reveals He Has Alzheimer’s
MONDAY, February 1, 2021 (HealthDay News) – As Tony Bennett releases what may well be his last album, his family revealed that the 1950s crooner, who rose to popularity with young audiences decades later, had the disease Alzheimer’s.
His wife, Susan, made the announcement in an interview published in AARP magazine. She said Bennett, 94, is content and happy and took the diagnosis calmly.
“But that’s because he already didn’t understand,” she said. “He would ask me, ‘What is Alzheimer’s disease?’ I would explain, but he wouldn’t understand. He was like, “Susan, I feel good.” That’s all he could figure out – that physically he felt good. So nothing has changed in his life. Everything that changed, he was not aware of. “
But Bennett, who still performed over a hundred dates a year when he married Susan in 2007 at age 80, noticed something was wrong on a tour in 2015, AARP reported. He told Susan that he couldn’t remember the names of the musicians on stage. She thought it was normal aging. He wanted to see a doctor.
Dr. Gayatri Devi, a neurologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, diagnosed Bennett in 2016. AARP that he has “an incredibly versatile brain.”
“He’s doing so much, at 94, that a lot of people without dementia can’t do,” Devi said. “He is truly the symbol of hope for someone with dementia.”
Devi attributed Bennett’s high functioning to his strong family support – especially from Susan, his primary caregiver.
“I am moved by the level of devotion,” said Devi AARP. “She also expects a lot from him. I think her teaching experience helps her, but she is also very much in love with him. And he lives up to her expectations.”
According to the magazine, Bennett has so far been spared the disorientation that can drive Alzheimer’s patients away from home, as well as the episodes of terror, rage or depression that often accompany the disease. . But Bennett doesn’t always know where he is or what’s going on around him, according to the magazine, and common objects like a fork can confuse him.
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