Joe Fraley Jr.’s mother Judy suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. Joe has shared candid videos of his mother’s often scary struggle on social media to help people understand with the disease is really like. “It’s terrible that it took my mom,” he says of the disease. “She would ask me things like, ‘why did this happen to me?’ and ‘what did I do to deserve this?” Joe shares.
The sometimes disturbing videos show what it’s like to care for someone with the disease and what it’s like to have the disease. Joe’s goal is to raise awareness and hopefully help others going through the same experience feel less alone.
“People are so unaware of it,” says Joe Fraley Sr. of Alzheimer’s and he’s happy that his son is able to share the experience with people using social media.
As a musician, Joe Jr. often played music for his mother throughout her life, and he finds that it’s one of the only ways to reach her now. Clearly evident in his videos, even with advanced Alzheimer’s, his mother Judy loves to listen to him play music.
“Music really is one of the most meaningful and powerful ways of connecting with an individual living with Alzheimer’s disease or a related form of memory loss,” says Rita Altman, senior V.P. of memory care at Sunrise Senior Living. Research shows that music memory is stored in multiple areas of the brain – some areas that Alzheimer’s can’t touch. “In many ways, music outsmarts Alzheimer’s,” says Rita. She urges people caring for loved ones to learn their favorite songs and sing with them.
In loving memory of Judy Fraley