Alzheimer’s disease affects more than five million people every year in America. There are millions and millions more across the world, too. And that’s not even including the family members of those people who have to deal with the fallout of the tragic symptoms of the disease that strikes so many in old age.
While the disease is a debilitating diagnosis by itself, it also puts a massive strain on the family members because they need to offer more care and sometimes the rewards for their service are not there.
Several years ago, Ted McDermott was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. While this was devastating for Ted, his family worried even more that soon enough he would start to forget them as his memory and clarity slowly eroded away. Every day, Ted’s memory and temperament worsens and this was depressing for the McDermotts.
But then Ted’s son thought of a solution that brings his father back – even for just a minute or two. And it is making the whole ordeal so much better. See what Ted’s son decided to do, that works!
Ever since he was a youngster, music has been Ted’s passion. While living in the United Kingdom as a young chap, Ted traveled and toured the country singing at clubs and music venues whenever he could.
But as happens with many people, when he aged, he moved further from music. He got married, had children, and needed to focus on building his family and providing for them. His passion for music was put to the side.
Then, as an older gentleman, his memory started to fade. When the Alzheimer’s diagnosis came, the McDermotts realized that the end was near.
The disease also made it nearly impossible for Ted to perform again. But that doesn’t mean the music wasn’t still in his heart!
Ted’s son Mac describes the Alzheimer’s patient’s passion for music:
“Dad was a singer all his life – he was a Butlin’s Redcoat and then traveled around singing in clubs around the country. He worked in a factory after he got married and still did the bit of singing on side. His nickname is ‘The Songaminute Man’ – simply because of how many songs he knows.
“In the last few years his memory has deteriorated a lot – often not recognizing family and with many aggressive episodes.”
Mac has struggled dealing with these outbursts. But he is dedicated to keeping his father’s spirit alive. And the best way he knows how is through music.
In the moments, when Mac realizes his father is cognizant, he quickly turns on Ted’s favorite songs. The music comes rushing back to him and Ted belts out the words right alongside the greats and his son.
These impassioned moments of connection keep Mac motivated as his father’s Alzheimer’s worsens day by day.
“Now when we’ve got him singing again he’s back in the room. It’s these moments that we treasure.
“The plan is to share as much of Dad’s singing as we can and hopefully help raise money to fund the work of the Alzheimer’s Society – more specifically to go towards paying for a person at the end of the phone line to help other people like us.”
Now Ted and Mac record their singing sessions and publish them on YouTube. They’ve become quite the viral hit. And Ted is still living his dream of singing, just like he was as a young man.
Watch Ted and Mac sing “Quando Quando Quando” together in the video below!
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