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94-year-old singer Tony Bennett was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2016. Until the pandemic struck though, music critics and audiences had no reason to suspect anything, as he kept performing and recording until it was not safe to do so. Unfortunately, according to his family and caregivers, his condition has deteriorated as he has been essentially confined to his apartment, unable to perform for live audiences.
Born in 1926 in Queens, New York, Bennett has lived an extraordinary life, with a music career that has spanned more than seven decades. The first indication that something was amiss came in 2015, when Bennett complained to his wife that he couldn’t remember the names of the musicians on stage. Bennett’s caregivers have shared that, while Bennett has not yet shown some common symptoms of Alzheimer’s like disorientation and anger, he is increasingly succumbing to the disease’s unrelenting progression. He is still reportedly able to recognize many family members but becomes confused by everyday objects.
The legendary singer’s wife and son recently opened up to AARP Magazine about his diagnosis in part, because he will not be able to engage in publicity interviews for the upcoming release of his latest work, a collaboration with Lady Gaga. They decided to break their silence without Tony’s input, as he is no longer capable of making that decision or even understanding the disease.
Gayatri Devi, M.D., the neurologist who diagnosed him with Alzheimer’s was quoted by AARP as saying “He is doing so many things, at 94, that many people without dementia cannot do. He really is the symbol of hope for someone with a cognitive disorder.” More than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, a form of age-related dementia which destroys neurons and their connections in the brain.
None of us knows if or when we might become incapacitated. The Estate Planning & Legacy Law Center can help you prepare for the what-ifs. Contact us today to learn more.