Bakhus Saba is a tireless advocate from Canada whose mother is living with Alzheimer’s. Bakhus has co-written several songs to raise awareness and help shatter the stigma associated with this horrific disease. Love is the Cure was released this week to mark World Alzheimer’s Day 2015. Thank you for all you do, Bakhus!
I’ve seen a couple of posts this week that have really touched my heart. Allan Vann and Vince Zangaro are on very similar, yet different paths. One of the things they have in common is their willingness to share their stories to raise awareness and bring hope and comfort to other caregivers.
Allan’s wife, Clare, was formally diagnosed with younger onset Alzheimer’s at age 63, but had been experiencing signs for several years before that. Allan cared his wife at home before making the difficult decision to place her in a care facility. However, he learned that doing so allowed him to be her husband again, rather than her 24×7 caregiver, which was a true gift to both of them.
Image Source: CBS News
The CBS interview captures the pain of slowly losing a loved one to Alzheimer’s with a raw, emotional accuracy.
Although it was my mother rather than spouse that I lost to this horrid disease, so much of what Allan says rings true to me. The arguments were the most difficult – early on, we fought about everything, and that was so uncharacteristic of our relationship. So sad to think about it…
Vince Zangaro was just 29 when his father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s ten years ago at age 62. He & his wife, Amy, are full-time caregivers and by sharing their journey, they help others to stay afloat.
Vince had a wonderful piece published on The Caregiver’s Voice this past week. One of the things that makes it unique is that Vince wrote it from his father’s perspective.
When I open my eyes in the morning, I feel scared. Where am I? Where have I been? Do I know this place? I look to the right, and the people there are sleeping soundly. I can’t remember who they are, but I know they love me and I love them; I feel safe.
In some ways, Vince’s posts and his videos make me miss my mom even more, but mostly they remind me of all the happy times we shared even as she fell further into the clutches of Alzheimer’s. His words also illustrate how having a loved one with Alzheimer’s changes our lives, and how that often results in us becoming better human beings.
One of his recent Facebook posts provided a simple, yet invaluable tip, in such a heartwarming way.
“I have learned when giving dad a hug to have it last a minute or longer. After the 60 second mark you will start to see him grasp the moment. It doesn’t always take medicine to help someone you love.”
And then there’s this video that makes me smile and cry at the same time… if it was possible to make a 3-minute video that defines love in its truest form, this is it.
Vince is also founder of the Alzheimer’s Music Fest which you can read more about on Facebook or at the event website. If you’re in the Duluth, GA, area, check it out!
While there are plenty of things that stir my emotions, music can really send me into a tailspin. I still haven’t listened to the Glen Campbell song, I’ll Be Me. One day I will, but I’m not ready yet.
Over the past day or so, I’ve seen a couple of Facebook posts regarding a new song and video by Chris Mann, a 2012 finalist on The Voice.
Remember Me is the result of a collaboration between Mann and a rather unlikely suspect, world-renowned Alzheimer’s researcher, neuroscientist Rudy Tanzi.
A recent Rolling Stone article describes how the two met and what inspired the partnership. (Call me crazy, but I feel as though this could be a game changer with regard to bringing Alzheimer’s out of the shadows! Who could have imagined uttering the words “Rolling Stone” and “Alzheimer’s” in the same sentence?)
Tonight as I was driving home, I shook off my apprehension and clicked the play button to listen to this remarkably powerful song for the first time. Within seconds, I found myself sobbing – it’s difficult to describe the raw emotion I felt as the beautiful lyrics cut into my heart. A rush of piercing grief, intense regret, and tremendous loss washed over me – body and soul. It took my breath away in every sense of the word. I couldn’t help but imagine my mom…
I know there’ll come a day, when I have gone away / And the memory of me will fade / But darling think of me, and who I use to be /And I’ll be right there with you again / I hope I’m one thing worth not forgetting / Tell me that you’ll never let me go
*Since its inception in 2004, the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund (a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization) has contributed $27.4 million to research. The founders cover all overhead expenses, and 100% of donations go directly to research. Dr. Rudy Tanzi is a key member of the organization’s research consortium.