Alzheimer’s disease is something that affects over 5 million Americans – and millions more all across the world. Not only is the disease debilitating to those diagnosed with it, but it can also be frustrating and draining for family members and loved ones.
Unfortunately for Ted McDermott and the rest of the McDermott family, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s several years ago. Each day his memory and temperament gets a little worse, but his son Mac found something that brings his father back – if only for a minute at a time….
Music has always been Ted’s passion. He traveled the United Kingdom in his younger days, singing at clubs and venues wherever he could. But as he aged, got married, had children and his memory began to fade, it got harder and harder to perform.
Although the professional acts may be over now, Mac explained that song still roars in his heart.
“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.”
These outbursts make it hard to deal with Ted, both medically and emotionally, but Mac is determined to keep his father’s spirit alive. So he devised a genius plan!
When Mac realizes his father is cognizant, he turns on some of his favorite tunes and begins to sing. Sure enough, Ted remembers the words and belts them out right alongside of his son. These tiny fragments of time keep Mac motivated to help his father work through these trying times.
“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 Mac and Ted record their singing sessions for the world to see – they pray their journey of bonding through music can inspire others to help those with Alzheimer’s cope with the symptoms. They even started a Just Giving page in hopes that they can raise enough money for Ted to produce his own album – and they vowed to donate 25 percent of the proceeds to Alzheimer’s research!
Life may not always be easy for Ted and Mac, but at least they have each other and their music to fall back on. They will keep trying to raise Alzheimer’s awareness and release the songs that bring the joy back into Ted’s soul!