Legendary singer Tony Bennett’s family on Monday shared that the music icon has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. The family shared the news with America’s AARP magazine. The jazz legend, now 94, was officially diagnosed with the disease in 2016. Alzheimer’s is characterised by a progressive memory loss that deprives its sufferers of speech, understanding, memories and recognition of close ones.
Bennett’s wife Susan Crow said even though Bennett has not developed extreme symptoms like episodes of terror, rage or depression, he is “not always sure where he is or what is happening around him” He, however, remembers all his family members, the singer’s wife told CBS news.
“He knows all his kids, absolutely. And he knows me. When you’re somebody’s caregiver 24/7, it goes a long way if they still know you. You know, every night when we go to bed, he says, ‘I love you, Susan.’ And every morning when he wakes up he says, ‘I love you’.”
Dr. Gayatri Devi, a neurologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan, who diagnosed Bennett, told AARP magazine that the singer is a symbol of “hope”.
“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.”
Bennett’s last public performance was on March 11, 2020 at the Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank, New Jersey.