Music, Humor and Determination Bring Comfort for Iowans with Alzheimer’s Disease

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DES MOINES, Iowa — Three Iowa women were among several dozen people who walked around the Iowa Statehouse Tuesday to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s Disease.

Becky Orr Montgomery, daughter of revered Iowa State Cyclones’ men’s basketball coach Johnny Orr, lost her mother to Alzheimer’s and has numerous other family members who also suffered from it. She said families should keep trying different methods to connect with those with the disease. Her family used humor.

Casandra Robertson’s mother got diagnosed at the age of 48 and has seen her health deteriorate so rapidly that she is now in a nursing home in Grundy Center. Robertson’s brother, country singer Jay Allen, has brought their mother on stage during a concert. The children found that music helps bring happiness to her.

Here is video from last October at the Dubuque County Fair.

Edith Crawford lost her mother to Alzheimer’s. She advocates for assistance for caregivers and especially works to bring awareness to the African American community, which is twice as likely to develop the disease. 

Click here for more information about Alzheimer’s research, support and statistics, along with the 2019 BrainWorks conference in Altoona in April.



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