The Doctors: Man Documents Mom’s Alzheimer’s Disease
In order to share his mother’s story and raise awareness about a condition close to home, one man turned to social media. When speaking about his mother, he described her as “the most brilliant person I’ve ever met.” She was a college professor for 20 years, having taught dream analysis and religion. For about ten years, he and the rest of his family began noticing that his mom would constantly forget things. She then became violent and confused. About 2-3 years ago, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. “It’s terrible,” he said. “That it took my mom.”
“When I hold her hand I can feel her spirit,” he continued. “But her mind is gone and it can’t come back.”
Because he’d been a musician for 10-15 years and his mom always loved his music, he began using his talent as therapy. He was able to capture all the ups and downs of his mom’s struggle with Alzheimer’s, and he’s thankful to have been able to do that. His mom is now on Hospice care and can’t walk or talk. “If I could talk to my mom, I would tell her that I love her and she was the greatest person I’ve ever met,” he stated. “And I am who I am because of her.”
“Enjoy those beautiful moments,” he urged viewers. “Because as dark as it is, there’s always those moments of light in the dark.”
The Doctors: Using Music To Connect With Dementia Patients
That man’s name is Joe Fraley Jr and he sat down with The Doctors. He explained that he made the video because he wanted people to know what he was going through and to raise awareness about the disease. He hopes that the video can help people going through the same thing as he was, can feel less alone.
Joe Sr was in the audience and shared that Alzheimer’s causes people to go through terrible things, so he was so happy that his son was able to get the information out there. Rita Altman of Memory Care at Sunrise Senior Living, stated that music is one of the most meaningful and powerful ways to connect with someone living with Alzheimer’s or a related form of memory loss. Research has shown that music is actually stored in some parts of the brain that Alzheimer’s can’t touch.
Since the taping of the show, Judy Fraley lost her battle with Alzheimer’s.