In 2016, Tony Bennett was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Today, at 94, he still sings. During the last couple years, his bouts of memory loss have increased; still, he has held onto the music. He lives in Manhattan and I wonder if he still feels, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco”—the song he’s widely known for.
Neuroscience… cannot explain how a man whose speaking voice has become so hesitant—whose memory of events, people and places has largely vanished—can, at the sound of a musical cue, lift his voice in song with such beauty and expression….
The above excerpt, “Help for Your Loved One,” and “Questions to Ask When Dementia is Diagnosed” are included in this month’s AARP article about Tony Bennett.
On CBS This Morning—Alzheimer’s Disease Tony Bennett Keeps Singing, Bennett’s wife, Susan Benedetto, talks about his living with Alzheimer’s. “He doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with him,” she says. However, now is the time to let people know of his diagnosis in order that his journey may help others. They kept it quiet for more than four years due to the stigma. AARP’s Sarah Lock offers tips for patients and caregivers impacted by the disease.
His primary caregiver, Benedetto (she uses his surname), explains that in recent years and prior to stopping all performances in March 2020 due to COVID, he’d come home from a performance worried that he couldn’t remember the musicians’ names.
American-born, Anthony Dominick Benedetto, who goes by the stage name Tony Bennett, has entertained audiences since the 1950s with his smooth style of singing ballads, jazz, and popular tunes.
After losing popularity in the rock-era of the 60s and 70s, his career took an upturn after his son, Danny became his manager and signed him with his old record label, Columbia. In 1986, the release of The Art of Excellence, marked the beginning of Bennett’s popularity in the 1990s with a much-younger crowd.
At Bennett’s neurologist’s suggestion to keep singing, Bennett’s pianist comes to his Manhattan home twice weekly and Tony sings to his heart’s content.
His wife-caregiver, Susan says to people: I take care of a national treasure. WOW, what a view of caregiving! KUDOS to her. Lucky him!
Later this year, Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga will be releasing a new album that they spent two years recording.
Additional information taken from Wikipedia/TonyBennett
The post Singer, Tony Bennett, has Lived with Alzheimer’s since 2016 first appeared on The Caregivers Voice.