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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.

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Yes, it's very sad when we find out that another celebrity has died . Even so, some details of their deaths are not made clear immediately to the public.
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I still don't understand the Ma'am thing and I'm from the south where Ma'am is still used, but, only for people to use with their elders. When a person who is 40 says it to a person who is 48, I want to slap them. IMO, that's just silly. After, you are 50, I think you have to consider the person and do they really want to be called Ma'am. To me, it's more for people under 21 to use for people over 50. Just my take on it and how I was brought up.
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My friend, Beth, was diagnosed with frontal temporal dementia in March of 2015. When I researched the symptoms, there were patterns of decline that many followed. It was explained to me that the brain was just shutting down as more and more of its functions were undermined. She lost the ability to cook, remember how to do the laundry, figure anything at all out, drive, etc. When she became incontinent and started to wander, I had found a memory care apartment in an AL place for her and her husband that provided excellent care. She got there in June of 2015, needed a wheel chair by July, needed to be fed in September and stopped being able to swallow near the end of October. By then she was receiving hospice care in her memory care apartment. So, technically, she died of starvation, but it was because the brain could no longer oversee the normal functions we have to follow to stay alive. There was no possible way to stop what was happening and her end of life wishes were very clear about when not to have steps taken to prolong her life. I was grateful for the care she received and the advice I was given about her care and what I needed to do as her POA. Not having done this before, I really needed that advice. And I noticed and appreciated how astute the staff was at noticing her needs and responding to them. I think people with alzheimers basically follow the same path near the end of life as the brain continues to be unable to do more and more of what is necessary to keep the body alive.
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Lol, Sunny. I can still vividly recall the first time some young whippersnapper called me Ma’am.
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I can hardly believe that David Cassidy was 67 years old. But, I suppose that is right. He was an adult, when he first appeared on The Partridge Family, though, he played the role of a teenager. I loved him anyway. lol

Younger and younger people are passing away. I confess to reading the obits daily now. Mainly, it's for my parents, since their friends and colleagues are dropping like flies, but, it's not just the 70 and up group. It's the twentysomethings. Drug overdoses are crazy around here. It's at least a couple a week and my parents live in a small town.  I have a friend who is in her early 50's and she's just lost her SECOND husband.  Unreal. 

The other week, I had a clerk ask me in the drug store if I got the senior discount. Well, at first I was insulted and taken aback, but, I recovered quickly and didn't even ask what their criteria for senior was....I just said proudly, "YES, please." It was 20% off too. I'll take that discount, no matter what it's called. lol
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Hi Veronica - - and let's not forget about the risks incurred from general anesthesia as folks age. The lovely lady doctor who anesthetized my 87 year old mother for her knee replacement with a "twilight" and epidural, said she never gives general anesthesia if it can be avoided.

My dad had true Alz. There is no proof of course, but I am personally "sure" that it was initiated by the Roto-Rooter prostate surgery he had, which is when his decline so obviously started.

I have enough experience with "other" dementias to make the claim - - two aunts had alcohol dementia, my close friend's brother had infarct dementia, my own brother-in-law had FTD and my mother ended with drug-induced dementia from an over-burden of anticholinergic medication (before the problem was understood).
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Moecam- isn’t that the truth!

I started receiving membership forms from AARP around age 50.

I received the dubious honor of qualifying for “senior shopping” discount days just this year - I am 55.

My government- in their infinite wisdom has raised the age to 67 for when I’ll be allowed to collect my full Social Security benefits.

My body and energy level feels like I’m 1000 years old. Yet in my head - I still feel like I’m in my 30’s.

So when is it, exactly- when one is old?
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Much stems from the old belief [supported by many churches] that bad things happen to bad people - your sickness was a result of your sins - that's why many wouldn't talk about cancer, dementia. TB & more because they didn't want to be classified as sinners -

It is starting to change but most keep it quiet which is partly rooted in that old notion that if you're ill then you did something 'wrong' - think about 150 years ago that many whould be put in jail & probably died there with little to no help because they were 'peculiar' but it could still be happening

Getting elder rights is a good idea but how do you define 'elder' that is the problem - will that make another hurdle for those trying to get help for someone unwilling to accept that they need help? - a new can of worms!
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I don’t know - it’s true that it’s usually something else that causes the death in the end but - at least to me - it’s kind of Potato/PaTATo.

Technically, my mother died from malnutrition- but it was her loss of skill and memory that kept her from eating and swallowing...
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Rosemary44,
I've wondered the same thing and have done a lot of research on it. Most doctors don't know much about it at all. I'm no expert, but, based on what I've read, the condition like Alzheimers can cause the death, although, it's often some underlying condition like heart failure, stroke, etc. Typically, the death from Alzheimers is the loss of critical brain functions. I take it to mean that the patient's brain damage prevents them from breathing, regulating body temperature, etc. I"m going to PM you a link that I found helpful, since we are not supposed to post links on the thread.
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That’s what I am thinking...how does one die from dementia? There has to be an underlying cause. My husband is taking a pill that has a black box warning about early death. He can’t live sanely without it. It’s an antihallucination drug given to people with Parkinson’s. His hallucinations to him are real and evil demons. He can’t live without the med but it might be the underlying cause of his demise. Who will know what he actually passed from? Right now he’s in robust health.
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I'm not sure if we will ever know exactly what type of dementia that David had. With his life long struggle with alcoholism, I would suspect that was the culprit. His dad had the same thing. Some people have mixed reasons for dementia too. I read before his recent decline that he had been out of contact with much of his family. I hope they are able to understand that he may have been limited in his ability to function, reason and maintain communication in a normal way.

I'm still amazed at how we hear from a celebrity who is still performing, giving interviews, traveling and talking about their dementia and then they are dead within months to a year. And then there are others who I know who are in much worse condition, incontinent, no orientation to time and place, no memory, completely immobile, etc. and they continue to live for years. It's such a mystery how things happen that way.

I am glad that David is not suffering. I saw an interview with Gene Simmons, who was close friends with Glenn Campbell and his wife, before he got sick. Gene noticed the early symptoms. He said that once Glenn got to a certain point, he was relieved when he heard of his passing. That, Glenn was no longer himself.
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Cassidy may have had cognitive impairment due to heavy drinking. We forget that he was hospitalized for liver failure. Being placed in a medically induced coma is not for a reason of dementia. There were conflicting reports by his family and spokespersons such as how can someone give last dying words from a coma. There are frequent posts from people who wonder how to get their loved ones help or housing but they keep on drinking. Dementia is part of death but usually there are underlying contributers
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I can think of at least one politician today who probably has some form of dementia--YouTube provides a few videos of this person speaking.
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I remember Jack Cassidy, David Cassidy's dad, wondering if Alzheimer's could be on that side of the family. Jack Cassidy was a flamboyant man in life and death, it seems. He was alcoholic and bipolar and caused the fire in the building where he lived, resulting in his own death at 49. David Cassidy wrote in an autobiography called "C'mon Get Happy," that his dad was also bisexual. David Cassidy's mother, actress Evelyn Ward, died of dementia at 89.
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Regarding head injury dementia, I just found out that Ronald Reagan's Alzheimer's didn't kick in until he fell off his horse at his ranch, he had a serious head injury. That reminds me of a relative in my family tree who developed dementia due to head trauma in a farming accident.

As for age, it does seem many famous people were so much older when they passed away. Such as actor Eddie Albert was 99.

Rita Haywood started to forget her lines at 40, passed in her late 60's.

Oh, I just noticed that Donald Trumps father had Alzheimer's, lived to be 94.

I wouldn't be surprised if there were more famous people who had Alzheimer's/Dementia, but had died from pneumonia or other illnesses that were or were not associated with Alzheimer's/Dementia.
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I think Reagan's dementia was one of the steps to bring it out of the closet and into public attention, especially since it affected a sitting president.

Head injury dementia is getting more attention now as well, after the tragedies of football concussions were made public.

Still, I recall when people tried to keep secret cancer diagnoses. And given that dementia involves mental faculties, behavior and more, I think there's more of a stigma, unfortunately.
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It seems that I am now in a perpetual state of feeling loss for artists that I have loved since childhood. Glenn Campbell, Malcolm Young (AC/DC) , and David Cassidy. IT's just too much. David is my LO's age (end stage dementia). I was mourning his loss today, when I had to rush to the hospital to be with her. Seems she had some symptoms that needed to be checked out.

David brought us so many good memories. Lots of fun and happiness watching him on The Partridge Family. His voice was so pure and soulful. I wish that he could have found more peace during his life. RIP David. I'll be thinking about you for a long time.
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Joe Mascolo , Stefano from "Days of Our Lives" One of the last scenes he was in, showed the affects of his Alzheimers
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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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"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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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...
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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.
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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.
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