Another Celebrity Dies From Dementia

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David Cassidy passed away yesterday from dementia- he was 67.

Late last week Malcolm Young, a founding member of the band AC/DC passed away from dementia- he was 64.

August 2014, Robin Williams committed suicide. The results of his autopsy showed he suffered from Lewy Bodies Dementia. Robin was 63.

County singer and actor Glen Campbell passed away August 8th 2017 - cause of death was Alzheimer’s Disease. Glen bravely announced he was suffering from Alzheimer’s in June of 2011 and was able to do a series of “Goodbye Concerts” throughout that year and 2012. Glen Campbell was admitted into a long term Alzheimer’s care facility in 2014. After living with Alzheimer’s for more than seven years, Glen Campbell passed away at age 81.

“American Top 40” radio disc jockey Casey Kasem passed away a few years ago - he was in his 80’s. Recently his daughters announced he had Lewy Bodies Dementia. Kasem's daughters reveled that their fathers death was hastened by a bedsore that had become severely infected and his body had become septic. In addition, Kasem has been improperly given liquids through his feeding tube that were not intended for this purpose- likely causing him pain. Kasem's daughters have founded an organization called Kasem Cares to help fight for and pass laws protecting the rights of the elderly.

Perhaps with more “celebrities” passing from dementia- and their families allowing this information to become public knowledge- more attention will be given to this horrible disease- and more help and support will become available to individuals suffering from dementia and their loved one caring for them.


So sad. I recently thought of the Partridge Family when reading the Alz/Dementia thread recommending good clean television shows, because let's face it some days "Come on Get Happy" is a reminder I need.
I hope now people will start to pay attention.

There were other famous people from the past who died from Alzheimer's/Dementia, that didn't seem to jump start any awareness.

actress Rita Haywood in 1987.... President Ronald Reagan in 2004.... actor Jimmy Stewart in 1997.... actor Charlton Heston in 2008.... actor Charles Bronson in 2003.... old time actress Norma Shearer in 1983..... actor Peter Falk from Columbo TV fame in 2011....

old time actor Burgess Meredith in 1997.... painter Norman Rockwell in 1978.... actor Eddie Albert in 2005.... boxer Sugar Ray Robinson in 1989.... comic actress Imogene Coca in 2001.... film director Otto Preminger 1986.... actor Edmond O'Brien in 1985.... actor Dana Andrews in 1992.... socialite Arlene Francis 2001..... singer Perry Como in 2001.... former Sec of State Cyrus Vance in 2002....

Actor Jack Lord from TV original "Hawaii Five-O".... U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater.... Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.... actress Estelle Getty from TV's "Golden Girls"..... etc.
Actually, Rain, he had announced dementia - his actual cause of death is organ failure, specifically liver failure, related to years of drinking. His dementia has possibly been linked to vascular dementia or alcoholic dementia which is STILL of great interest to me and others on the board with family members that fall in that category. I'd like to think it helps to have celebrities with dementia for attention - but everybody thinks it'll happen to someone else. They will be the 100 year old climbing Mt Everest. Can't tell you how many folks in my support group for family members with autism started with NMK - not my kid...
Guestshop- my hubby was commenting about David Cassidy being so young - hubbys only experience with dementia has been accompaning me through my only significant experience with dementia- and that was with my mother.

My moms dementia didn’t really kick in until she was about 83 or 84 - she had been abusing Oxycodone for a few years prior to that so the symptoms we saw then were hard to decern what to attribute them to. At the time - we thought it was just the pills...

So, yes - David Cassidy’s dementia Is probably alcohol related - which I explained to my hubby. Hubby is a recovering alcoholic, with 20 years sobriety- but wasn’t aware of this bonus round of potential damage that drinking in excess can do.

But as you say - no one really thinks it’s gonna happen to them - probably not until you see it up close and personal - like us here, who - having seen it and experienced its devastation- live in fear - that it’s gonna happen to us... every time we loose the car keys or forget exactly where we parked the car.
I am cynical but my first thought is that many dementias are labelled Alzheimers because that is a respectable cause of death rather than labelling it alcohol or misuse of legal or illegal drugs.
Some people do have legitimate causes of their dementia. for example Ronald Reagans was probably caused by being shot and Mohamid Ali's was repeated head injuries in the boxing ring. Many sufferers dementia is caused by vascular disease and multiple mini strokes as was my MILs who did not abuse anything.
Thanks for this unsettling but enlightening thread on dementia, and the fact that it affects so many people of high profile, especially those with financial assets to get the best medical care. Sadly, this disease is still well beyond a source and cure diagnosis, as diseases of the past once were.
Veronica, your comment on Ali's death reminds me of the attention (at last) being given to football head injuries. These have for far too long been ignored in terms of the potential damage.
It’s funny - tragic funny, not haha funny - that Dementia seems to be the last disease- the last social stigma to be drug from the closet.

I think your absolutely right, Veronica - that it seems that calling it Alzheimer’s seems to be a more socially accepted term than the many other forms of dementia.

I remember as a child reading an article either written by - or she was interviewed- Rita Hayworths daughter (my fascination with movies begun at a very early age). I had seen the film Gilda, with Rita Hayworth and had thought she was the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen - I just couldn’t wrap my child’s brain around her deterioration as described by her daughter.

As I look at the names on the list in Freqflyers post, I’m struck by the talent, intelligence and accomplishments of these people. It’s all the more tragic that this disease is still treated like a dirty little secret. I mean, Norman Rockwell? The irony of him having dementia is mind blowing when one considers that he made his fame by artistic works depicting an idealic life.

As well - looking at this list, I wonder why dementia is still so stigmatized. Perhaps - looking at the list - as most of these people were “old”, people don’t see it as much as a tragedy - until it happens to your loved one? It’s accepted as just what happens as one ages, right? Old folks just get forgetful, it’s normal- right? That seems to be the general gist of it.

But maybe now - as it’s starting to be seen in younger and younger celebrities- maybe now dementia can come out of the closest.
"as most of these people were “old”, people don’t see it as much as a tragedy"

Bingo! It's almost an expected norm that old people get a little dotty, just look at how many come to the forum with their profile filled out general age related decline, as if all the weird little things mom or dad are doing is just normal aging. Old people die, and even those in healthcare don't seem to recognize dementia itself as a fatal disease.
One of the founders of The Beastie Boys John Berry died on May 19, 2016, aged 52, as a result of frontotemporal dementia, after a decline of health for several years.

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