US singer Tony Bennett dies aged 96
Tony Bennett drew his last breath on July 21, 2023, following a devastating dementia diagnosis.
The singer had opened up about getting a diagnosis in 2016 just a few months before his passing.
In a handful of interviews at the time, his wife, Susan Benedetto, gave fans an insight into Bennett’s condition.
Speaking with CBS This Morning in 2021, she remembered the early signs of his Alzheimer’s.
She said: “We came home one night after the show and he says, ‘Susan, I can’t remember the musicians’ names.’”
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Benedetto also said her husband knew then that he was experiencing something more serious than the forgetfulness that can sometimes come with age.
She said: “I just chalked it up to him being, at the time, late 80s, we forget things.
“And he said, ‘No, no, this isn’t right.'”
She also shared why Bennett wanted to keep his diagnosis private: “He always likes to say he’s in the business of making people feel good.
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“And so he never wanted the audience to know if he had a problem. But obviously, as things have progressed, it becomes more and more obvious when you interact with Tony that there’s something up.
“And so it just seemed that now was the right time.”
Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, the Alzheimer’s Association notes.
While there is no cure, earlier diagnosis can be helpful in managing the condition.
The charity points out “early signs and symptoms” of the condition to be aware of, ranging from memory loss that disrupts daily life to challenges in planning or solving problems.
Early signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease can include:
- Difficulty completing familiar tasks
- Confusion with time or place
- Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
- New problems with words in speaking or writing
- Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
- Decreased or poor judgment
- Withdrawal from work or social activities
- Changes in mood and personality.
Some signs might be confused with typical age-related changes, but there are some key differences to be on the lookout for.
For example, losing things from time to time can be normal, but misplacing things and being unable to retrace your steps to find the item might be a sign of dementia.
Another example is forgetting which day it is, but remembering it later, could be a normal mishap.
Losing track of the date or the season, thinking it’s winter when it’s summer, for example, indicates dementia.
If you suspect you or a loved one has dementia contact yours or their GP.
Tony Bennett at the London Palladium: BBC Sessions is showcasing on Saturday, August 5 at 9pm on BBC Two.
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