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33 Songs About Alzheimer's and Dementia

Updated on August 8, 2017
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FlourishAnyway believes there is a playlist for just about any situation and is on a mission to unite and entertain the world through song.

These pop, rock, country, and folk songs are a tribute to patients with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia as well as the families who lovingly support them. Make a playlist of songs about dementia to spread awareness.
These pop, rock, country, and folk songs are a tribute to patients with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia as well as the families who lovingly support them. Make a playlist of songs about dementia to spread awareness. | Source

The Long Goodbye: There's Big Trouble with Granny

Big trouble has been brewing with Granny for years, and everyone knows that it's getting worse. Her doctors call it "mild to moderate cognitive impairment." Behaviorally, we see a terse and confused 86-year-old woman who sometimes picks up the television remote when the phone rings.

Granny can't be left alone because she gives away sensitive information over the phone to anyone who asks—her banking and credit card numbers, social security number, whatever people ask for. She forgets to eat, makes lewd comments that would shame most grown men, and suspects that someone is stealing from her, planning against her, or both.

My cousin and I were befuddled when Granny "introduced" us to one another recently. We clearly knew one another, but did she? Dementia can be difficult on families as well as the person diagnosed.

If your family is struggling with a dementia diagnosis, consider making a playlist of these pop, rock, and country songs that pay tribute to patients with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia as well as the families who support them in their journey. Many of these songs exhibit great empathy. Take comfort in knowing that you are not alone in this struggle.

1. "I'm Not Gonna Miss You" by Glen Campbell

Known as country music's Rhinestone Cowboy, Glen Campbell spent five decades in the music business and won both a Grammy Hall of Fame and Lifetime Achievement Award.

In 2011, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. This poignant autobiographical song from 2014 tugs at the heartstrings as it fittingly describes his receding memory: "I'm still here, but yet I'm gone."

Unfortunately, the singer's family has been embroiled in internal battles over his care, and he is in the end stages of the disease, living in a memory care facility. Although an internet hoax reported his death in May 2017, he actually died in August 2017.

2. "While He Still Knows Who I Am" by Kenny Chesney

This 2012 country song will leave a lump in your throat. The narrator returns home with intentions of trying to visit and reconnect with his father who is battling dementia:

I'm going back to see him
While he still knows
Who I am.

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3. "When You Were Superman" by Massive Dog

On some level, every child believes that his or her parents are invulnerable. Dementia shatters that ideal.

This touching pop song from 2014 features a narrator who fondly recalls his father's previous superhero status. The narrator juxtaposes memories of his own growing up, having his dad teach him skills like reading and tying his shoes with his father’s current loss of them.

The son wishes he could restore his father’s vigor and vitality by finding out who holds the kryponite, and he's sad that

Superman can’t save the world anymore.
He’s fading fast, but
You’ll always be Superman to me.

Please Share Your Wisdom in the Comments Section Below

If you are a family member of someone with dementia, what advice or words of wisdom and support can you give to others who are new to the journey?

4. "Afire Love" by Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran's grandfather battled Alzheimer's Disease for 20 years before it claimed his life in 2013. This 2014 pop song describes Sheeran's memories of growing up with a grandfather who lost the ability to recognize even those who were close to him. It also tenderly portrays the love between his grandparents.

5. "Faces of Stone" by David Gilmour

In this 2015 alternative rock song, an old couple walks, arm in arm. The woman suffers from memory problems and vividly recalls stories from both her youth and childhood home by the sea. She doesn't understand that she is not walking with the lover from her younger years.

6. "Doing The Right Thing" by Daughter

The narrator of this 2016 alternative rock song laments the inevitability of growing old. He reflects on the biological purpose of our lives as reproduction, merely perpetuating ourselves.

After we serve that austere purpose, eventually one loses the people he loves, his purpose, and perhaps his mind:

I have lost my children
I have lost my love
I just sit in silence
Let the pictures soak
Out of televisions
Out of televisions… .

7. "Where've You Been?" by Kathy Mattea

This moving 1989 country song won a Grammy Award for good reason. It was written by the singer's husband regarding his own grandparents' lifetime love affair and a moment they shared towards the end of their lives.

Three different meanings of the question, "Where've you been?" are reflected in the song. The first depicts the couple as young lovers, with the woman asking her new flame where he's been all her life. In the second scenario, they are a married couple, and she is thankful to see him when he returns home late from work in the midst of a bad storm.

In the last scenario, the lifetime partners have been married 60 years but are now resigned to living in a care facility on different floors. The wife experiences dementia. She

... soon lost her memory, forgot the names of family
She never spoke a word again
Then one day they wheeled him in ... .

8. "I Miss Her" by Jessie J

Addressing God, the narrator in this 2013 pop song describes a relative who is an empty shell of her former self, as her mind has been ravaged by dementia. Watching her loved one slip away mentally, the narrator asks God for help and healing. She misses her relative even though she is still here.

9. "Veronica" Elvis Costello

If you have a loved one with dementia like I do, it is bittersweet to compare what they used to be to what they have become. The singer wrote this 1989 rock song about his grandmother with Alzheimer's and her "terrifying moments of lucidity."

Veronica, the old woman in the song, now seems to exist in a dream state or perhaps she is is hiding from reality. The narrator refers to her youth, when her mind was carefree and she carried a devilish look in her eye. Those days have long disappeared, however.

Dementia is an umbrella term that includes symptoms caused by many diseases.  Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia, but other forms include vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies and frontotemporal dementia.
Dementia is an umbrella term that includes symptoms caused by many diseases. Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia, but other forms include vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies and frontotemporal dementia. | Source

10. "Silent House" by Dixie Chicks

The woman at the center of this 2006 country song has sadly forgotten many of the parts of her life that made it unique and remarkable. Her relative, the narrator, takes a good look at all of the family photographs, handmade objects, clothing, books, and personal items that belong to the ailing woman and now fill up the family home. The younger woman then promises to take these items and try to connect them, thus carrying on the old woman's memories and spirit.

11. "Unraveling" by Liz Longley

The grandaughter of a dementia patient struggles with her grief in this pop song from 2013. She is left with boxes and baskets of her grandmother's treasured items, but the old woman's memory is failing:

She looks in my eyes and asks me my name
Every five minutes I tell her the same.
She smiles, but it's cold and dead
And I'm screaming out loud in my head.

Most people with dementia are over the age of 65, but dementia is not an inevitable consequence of growing old.  Some types of early onset dementia typically strike people as young as their 40s.
Most people with dementia are over the age of 65, but dementia is not an inevitable consequence of growing old. Some types of early onset dementia typically strike people as young as their 40s. | Source

10 Warning Signs and Symptoms of Dementia

Warning Sign
Warning Sign
Memory loss affecting job skills and daily function
Problems with abstract thinking
Difficulty performing familiar tasks such as following a recipe, driving to a famiiar location, or remembering the rules to a favorite game
Misplacing things, such as putting items in inappropriate places
Problems with language, such as forgetting simple words or substituting the wrong word
Changes in mood and behavior, such as rapid mood swings for no known reason
Disorientation of time and location
Personality changes, such as becoming suspicious, fearful, or confused
Poor or inappropriate judgment
Loss of initiative, including passivity and requiring prompting to act
Source: Alzheimer's Association

12."Vanishing Mind" by Calexico

This alternative rock song from 2012 fittingly describes dementia as the "vanishing mind." With its references to sealed rooms and waiting in hallways, it envokes images of nursing homes and reminds us that it's challenging to understand someone when there is nothing left to remember them.

13. "Forever Changed" by Carrie Underwood

Nothing ever stays the same. This 2012 country song depicts the life changes that forever marked the life of her grandmother: falling in love, becoming a mother, and now, as her life memories fade away in old age, Alzheimer's.

14. "The Locket" by Lauren Alaina

In this 2011 country song, a thoughtful grandaughter tries to prompt her grandmother to recall personally significant memories. Decades before, the old woman had been given a heart-shaped locket by her beau, the man she married and had a family with. She promised never to take it off. However, now she gifts the locket to the grandaughter, saying it's time to head on home to the boy in the locket.

15. "Raymond" by Brett Eldredge

The singer was inspired to write this 2010 country tune because his grandmother had Alzheimer's. In the song, a young man works at a nursing home. One of the patients he serves routinely mistakes him for her long-dead son, Raymond, who was killed while serving in the Vietnam War.

Although there are medications that can alleviate some of the symptoms of dementia for some people, there is no cure for the brain's gradual deterioration.
Although there are medications that can alleviate some of the symptoms of dementia for some people, there is no cure for the brain's gradual deterioration. | Source

Famous People with Alzheimer's and Other Forms of Dementia

 
 
 
Casey Kasem, from American Top 40 Count Down fame and voice of "Shaggy" in Scooby Doo
Sugar Ray Robinson, champion boxer
David Cassidy, former teen idol, musician, and actor, famous for The Partridge Family
Gene Wilder, comic actor
Margaret Thatcher, first female Prime Minister of Britain
Robin Williams, actor and comedian
Rita Hayworth, dancer, pin-up, and film star
Rosa Parks, mother of the Civil RIghts movement who refused to give up her bus seat
Abigail Van Buren, advice columnist known as "Dear Abby"
Ronald Reagan, 40th U.S. President
Norman Rockwell, painter of American nostalgia
E.B. White, author of "Stuart Little" and "Charlotte's Web"
Sargent Shriver, politician and activist who organized the Peace Corps, founded Job Corps and Head Start
Glen Campbell, pop and country music artist
Charlton Heston, actor and political activist
Malcolm Young, guitarist and co-founder of AC/DC
Ralph Waldo Emerson, American transcendental poet
Pat Summitt, NCAA women's basketball coach
Dementia knows no socioeconomic boundaries and doesn't respect fame or achievement. It strikes leaders, heroes, entertainers, artists, authors and everyday people.

16. "I Know Who He Is" by "William Michael Morgan

Not wanting to give in to the reality that his father is going downhill as a result of his battle with dementia, the man in this 2016 country song tells the doctor that he will remember for him. He sees his dad the way he used to be, even as changes have taken their heartwrenching toll:

Looking right through me is not at all the way I see him
I don’t mind at all remembering for him
He doesn’t have to get why I adore him
He don’t have to know me; I know who he is.

17. "Sometimes" by Charlie McGettigan

This talented Irish singer contributes a touching 2010 country song about a man who visits a longtime friend with Alzheimer's. The ailing friend cannot remember important people if his life or other details about his past. Naturally, it's painful for his friend to watch him frustrated and struggling with memories that are forever slipping away.

18. "The Way" by Fastball

A chart-topper from 1998, this rock song is about an elderly married couple who decide to pack their suitcases and leave their lives, driving away on an unannounced road trip. The song is a romanticized depiction of a real couple from Texas, Lela and Raymond Howard, who were both in their eighties. Lela suffered from Alzheimer's and Raymond was recovering from brain surgery when they set out for a nearby festival 15 miles from home.

The real couple was sadly found dead in their car at the bottom of a ravine 500 miles away only two weeks after their road trip began. However, this song imagines them setting off on a highway adventure, happy, carefree, and forever young.

Toll-Free Helpline - Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA) 1-866-232-8484

19. "From His Window" by John Smith

Dedicated to his father who died from Alzheimer's, this bittersweet 1998 song describes an old man who doesn't know what day it is and doesn't speak much anymore. The disease has taken that from him.

His son, however, reflects on the man his father used to be. His dad now looks out on the world from his window—the windows at his nursing home and the car window when his son comes to take him on drives.

20. "Forget To Remember" by Megadeth

If you doubted that a hard rock song could also be poignant, then you haven't listened to this 2013 song. The narrator addresses a loved one with dementia and describes the long goodbye.

Alzheimer's affects one in 10 Americans over the age of 65.  It disproportionately strikes women, blacks, and Hispanics.
Alzheimer's affects one in 10 Americans over the age of 65. It disproportionately strikes women, blacks, and Hispanics. | Source

Even More Songs About Alzheimer's and Dementia

Song
Artist
Year Released
21. Ellsworth
Rascal Flatts
2006
22. Remembering
Ashley Campbell
2015
23. She Misses Him
Tim Rushlow
2001
24. She Remembers Love
Mindy McCready
2001
25. Alzheimer's
Eric Church
unreleased
26. I Will Remind You
Brian Asselin
2012
27. Basket
Dan Mangan
2009
28. I Left That Body Long Ago
Amy MacDonald
2012
29. Moving Oleta
Reba McEntire
2003
30. I'm Not Me
Billy Gilman
2005
31. Remember Me
Chris Mann
2015
32. I'm Not Me Anymore
Jerry Landsdowne
2010
33. Dreamin'
Taylor Loren
2015
Do you know a pop, rock, or country song that should be on this tribute playlist to families living with a loved one with Alzheimer's or another form of dementia? Make a suggestion in the Comments Section below.
Nearly two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer's are women, according to the Alzheimer's Association.  Caregivers are also  disproportionately women.
Nearly two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer's are women, according to the Alzheimer's Association. Caregivers are also disproportionately women. | Source

What's In a Name? Songs About Alzheimer's and Dementia

show route and directions
A markerConfusion Lake, Canada -
Confusion Lake, Kenora, Unorganized, ON P0V, Canada
get directions

B markerDaze, Arizona, USA -
Daze, Arizona 86046, USA
get directions

C markerForget, Canada -
Forget, SK S0G, Canada
get directions

D markerForgotten Creek, Missouri, USA -
Forgotten Creek, Gravois Mills, MO 65037, USA
get directions

E markerForgotten Trail, Arizona, USA -
Forgotten Trail, Petrified Forest National Park, AZ 86028, USA
get directions

F markerGone, Chad -
Gone, Chad
get directions

G markerLost Creek, Texas, USA -
Lost Creek, TX 78746, USA
get directions

H markerMemory Isle, Michigan, USA -
Memory Isle, Three Rivers, MI 49093, USA
get directions

I markerMoody, Alabama, USA -
Moody, AL, USA
get directions

J markerWandering, Australia -
Wandering WA 6308, Australia
get directions

© 2017 FlourishAnyway

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    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 7 days ago from USA

      Elisabeth - I'm sorry about your mother. Thank you for sharing your story. I wish you the best in your healing.

    • profile image

      Elisabeth 8 days ago

      Thank you so much. Many of these I hadn’t heard before. They are soooo beautiful. I wrote a song as well, a tribute to my mom. It was hard to write but was an important part of processing my emotions while caring for my parents and coming to terms with things. My heart goes out to anyone who has lost a loved one to this horrible disease

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 4 months ago from USA

      Mona - It just may be my favorite playlist because it is so meaningful and the songs are so poignant, inspired by people who have traveled the difficult journey. Thank you for sharing on Facebook! Perhaps it can bring comfort to those who need it.

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 4 months ago from Philippines

      Dear Flourish Anyway,

      I listened to every single song on this list. In fact, I fell asleep with my computer on, and when I woke up I finished the rest of the songs. They are so beautiful. Never heard of them before, but my favorites are "Sometimes" and "Where've you been". They are really beautiful songs. Thank you so much for this list. I shared it on my Facebook page:)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 4 months ago from USA

      Devika - I appreciate that you stopped by.

    • profile image

      DDE 4 months ago

      You shared an informative and most useful topic.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 5 months ago from USA

      Jo - I'm so sorry about your mother. I'm sure you gave her all the love and support you could muster. What a terrible disease. Thank you for letting people know that they are not alone and that others experience this in their families. Big hugs to you.

    • jo miller profile image

      Jo Miller 5 months ago from Tennessee

      I would never have guessed you could come up with a list for this disease. Maybe I shouldn't be surprised because it touches so many of us. I went through this agony with my mom, and still hoping we find a treatment.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 5 months ago from USA

      Genna - Thanks so much for your kind compliment. The disease is so cruel; I agree. I appreciate your stopping by. Have a wonderful week.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 5 months ago from USA

      Tamara - Very nice of you! I appreciate the sentiment. Thanks for following.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 5 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

      I only wish they would find a cure for this terrible disease - this thief -- that robs one of the soul in so many ways. Your music selection is just stunning.

    • profile image

      Tamara Moore 5 months ago

      I love music, and I would like to keep up with your posts! Sometimes my device doesn't notify me of new articles by those whom I follow, so I just will try to be on the look-out.

      Loving Hugs,

      Tamara :-)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 5 months ago from USA

      Tamara Moore - Thank you for your kind endorsement! I enjoy most putting together songlists with a social or educational message. Some are just for fun, but others speak to specific populations. I'm glad you enjoyed this.

    • profile image

      Tamara Moore 5 months ago

      Wow, your Hubs are very unique with the way you find the relationship between certain songs and conditions. How creative and different! I will enjoy exploring your articles!

      Tamara

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 5 months ago from USA

      Nadine - The fact that you can speak more than one language is a good thing. It's probably normal to substitute the wrong word or forget words when you're dealing with multiple languages. I'm not exactly a fluent speaker in Spanish and French but I did take them each in high school or college for two years, and even now I mix them up. I don't know how people who fluently speak multiple languages keep it all straight. Thanks for stopping by! Have a lovely weekend!

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 5 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Incredible about the list of songs..Interesting post...Some of the warning signs that you mention are true signs...I can truly say that two symptoms I have had all my life...

      (1) Problems with language, such as forgetting simple words or substituting the wrong word....must be a Dutch / English thing for me... or (2) misplacing things.

      I never knew about Margaret Thatcher ,Ronald Reagan, and Norman Rockwell..how sad.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 5 months ago from USA

      Vellur - I agree. More research is needed so that a cure can be found. Thank you for stopping by.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 5 months ago from Dubai

      A great list, it is sad that no cure has been found for this disease so far. I hope science will come up with an answer soon.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 5 months ago from USA

      Linda - I hope this sad disease doesn't strike you and that many years from now when your have lived fully, you drift peacefully in your sleep as a very old woman. Much love to you.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 5 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Oh Flourish, your comment to Larry just hit my heart to the very core. Since my mother died from Alzheimers (or at least some type of dementia), I find myself wondering if my "senior moments" are more than that.

      I NEVER want my husband or children to have to feed me, bathe me, or change my diapers. If God answers my prayers, I will, like my maternal grandmother kiss my loved ones goodnight, go to bed, and die in my sleep.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 5 months ago from USA

      Larry - if you start repeating yourself we will look for your keys in the freezer. Anyone who has a loved one with this terrible disease wonders if it will strike them as well. I know I do. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 5 months ago from Oklahoma

      I had some songs I wanted you to add, but I forgot them;-)

      Seriously, it's such a sad condition. I've had to deal with it with multiple family members. Sometimes you gotta laugh to stop the crying.

      Wonderful list.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 5 months ago from USA

      Rasma - It is sad, and none of us knows what our futures hold. Thank you for stopping by.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 5 months ago from Riga, Latvia

      Another great hub. Never realized there were so many songs about this. The only one I really knew was Veronica. I am so sorry such a talent like Glen Campbell has this disease and now my teen idol David Cassidy has been diagnosed with dementia. So sad.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 5 months ago from USA

      Linda - The topic is very sad. I appreciate you stopping by to leave a comment. Have a lovely week.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 5 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is an interesting and informative article, as always. It covers a very sad topic. Dementia in any form is a horrible condition. Thank you for publicizing it and for providing a place for people to share their experiences, Flourish.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 5 months ago from USA

      Kallini - Your analogy of dementia to being suspended between life and death is appropriate and sad. It's hard to watch the decline of people you love and admire who were once gifted, powerful, nurturers, brilliant thinkers, leaders, creators, and achievers become unable to even care for themselves or recognize where they are.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 5 months ago from USA

      MizBejabbers - I'm sorry that there are people you love who have Alzheimer's or currently show symptoms. It's terrifying, sad, and emotionally draining.

      The more people share that their lives are impacted by this dreaded disease, the more we create a community of caring and support where people can find understanding. I send you you a big internet hug from across the miles.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 5 months ago from USA

      GalaxyRat - Thank you for sharing your family's memories. I'm sorry your great-grandfather endured this sad disease.

    • kallini2010 profile image

      kallini2010 5 months ago from Toronto, Canada

      Absolutely heart-breaking. Getting to grips with death is easier than gripping with the thought than I could become a burden on my family.

      Nowadays, dementia takes the 1st place on the list of illnesses people are terrified of. Makes you think what is life and what is death. How far the person with Alzheimer's is willing to go with this extended release from presence to absence?

      I am terrified. Of all night and (day-)mares, my worst one is imagining my brain shrinking to a size of a walnut. I've been told that "you don't have to worry, you have a large cognitive reserve". But how large is large? And what do they know anyways?

      Terrifying. Unbearable. Heart-breaking.

    • GalaxyRat profile image

      GalaxyRat 5 months ago from The Crazy Rat Lady's House

      Beautiful. My great-grandfather had Alzheimer's. It was before I was born, and my mother had to watch him go through that. I bet one of her favorite memories was when there was a brief moment when he winked at her like he used to. He had it over 10 years before he died.

      Love it.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 5 months ago from USA

      MsDora - Some songlists I have special people in mind, and with this one I thought of you and how you so deeply and loyally cared for your dear mother. Thank you for leaving your words of wisdom for those who are new to this journey. Bless you, sweet lady.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 5 months ago from The Caribbean

      Flourish, you can guess how much this touches me. I was caring for my mother when Glen Campbell sang his song, so I well remember. My advice to newcomers: Expect anything and pray for the capacity to love despite whatever comes.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 5 months ago

      What touching songs and a great write about a disturbing disease or condition. I'm familiar with some of them, but not most. Thanks for publishing the chart of famous people who have or have succumbed to dementia-like illnesses. In the last 10 years I've said goodbye to two dear friends, both of whom are still alive. One has Alzheimer's and the other developed dementia after a concussion and is now in a nursing home. Now I have a family member with disturbing signs of Alzheimer's. Right now he is in the midst of confusion and hurt because he realizes that he won't be lucid much longer. It really is a heartbreaking condition.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 5 months ago from USA

      Oh, dear Linda - I'm so sorry for your losses and impressed by your loving dedication. It is a cruel disease, one that robs the essence of a person's identity. While it may have seemed "easy" to promise never to put his wife in a care facility at the time, sadly it sounds like her needs and his would be better served if she were among health care professionals 24/7. Thank you for sharing your story. You, your neighbor and his dear wife will be in my thoughts lovingly.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 5 months ago from USA

      Bill - Glen Campbell's song is about as real as it gets on this topic. Thanks for stopping by.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 5 months ago from USA

      Happymommy2520 - I'm so sorry that your dad has dementia. There are many families who are and have been in your situation, so reach out for comfort and understanding. I send you a big internet hug.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 5 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Oh Flourish, this one hits so very close to home--it was difficult to read. As you know it was Nancy Reagan who coined the phrase "the long goodbye" and dementia is certainly that.

      My mother began to show signs of dementia in 1989, shortly after the death of my brother. I think his loss, even more than the death of my dad, broke a part of her that could never heal. At first it was mere forgetfulness, misplacing items and so on. When she started leaving the burners of the stove on high we removed the knobs. Doors were secured from the inside (my sister was living with her) with child safety latches so that she couldn't wander in the middle of the night. When my two little girls were playing at her house and she asked "who are those kids making all that noise" we knew she was gone. If was 9 more years until she finally faded away in a care facility specifically for those with Alzheimers.

      My next door neighbor is in the end stage of the disease. Her dear, loving husband made a promise to her that he would never place her in a care facility, a promise that he has bravely kept. A year ago she could no longer walk, and has been confined to her bed, needing someone to feed, bathe, change and dress her. That used to be Donn and me working together, but we/he reached a point of recognition that we could no longer do it on our own--there is now a staff of nurses that come in several times a day to attend to her.

      At times there were moments of lucidity, but now she sleeps all of the time, not eating, in a semi-comatose state. I know (and hope) that the end is soon.

      What a dreadful, cruel disease.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I drew a total blank on this one. I should have remembered the Campbell song since I heard it....so the list was interesting because I had no idea at all. I still love this series. Keep them coming.

    • Happymommy2520 profile image

      Amy 5 months ago from East Coast

      Thanks for this article! My dad has dementia and is in a memory care facility. Thank you for bringing forth the fact that i'm not alone and it's very common.