Inspired by families who provide care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease/dementia and for those affected with the disease, The Alzheimer’s Music Fest produces and presents a festival of musicians with diverse musical backgrounds who come together and celebrate the family caregiver. Our goal is to raise funds for those families with limited financial resources, increase awareness about Alzheimer’s disease/dementia, and create a community of supports for these families. Alzheimer’s Music Fest has partnered with Dementia Spotlight Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit to ensure net funds raised are used to support Alzheimer’s disease/dementia families who care for their loved one at home.
The Story of Alzheimer’s Music Fest
by Vince Zangaro
My father and my Alzheimer’s journey started over 10 years ago. He was 62 when diagnosed, and I was the young age of 29 when my world completely changed. It was so very hard for both of us to accept, so we lived in ignorance for many years until we could not any longer. My dad was a hard working man, served in the military, and was a great father to me. I was a selfish ass that still lived to be cool, get girls, and make money.
As my dad progressed in the disease, I started to evolve into a better man. I remember many of my friends suggesting I put him in a home, but I made a promise to my mother before she died at age 55 that I would take care of him. I made my dad a promise that I would care for him no matter what. Through our journey I went through an almost bipolar way of living. I lied to my friends, went through depression, and at one point I thought I had Lupus. I didn’t ask for help, and many around me didn’t understand. I remember yelling at my father, not understanding why he was doing this to me and calling him selfish. I would drop on the floor in tears on many occasions. I just didn’t want to go on!
I had a decision to make. Give up or grow up! I started to change my whole way of thinking. Instead of dad having to live in our world, I decided to live in his. For every party, vacation, friend, and career opportunity I lost, I gained so much more. I fell in love with my wife, started to write songs again, and started to be very vocal about our Alzheimer’s Family. For every transition we have been through, dad teaches me something invaluable. I started to wake the hell up and made a choice to be happy, not miserable. Everything started to slowly fall into place. I founded Alzheimer’s Music Fest to help others be able to care for their loved ones at home. Through that I met two Alzheimer’s / dementia nonprofits, Caring Together in Hope and Laona M. Kitchen Foundation, that I consider amazing Alzheimer’s /dementia advocates. I also met some really great people that have walked this same path that I consider dear friends.
Dad is a gift in my life, and I will fight for every possible moment with him. I feel now I can also say I am a gift in his life as well. My wife is our surprise present that God gave us just in time. I AM PROUD, I AM HAPPY, I AM SON, I AM HUSBAND, I AM FRIEND, I AM FORTUNATE, I AM FATHER, I AM SONGWRITER, I AM ALZHEIMER’S ADVOCATE, I AM STRONG, I AM CAREGIVER!
Our next Alzheimer's Music Fest is September 16, 2017, and with the help of our sponsors and your donations, we will be able to assist more caregivers in providing their loved ones the care that they truly need.
If you donate $25.00, you will be giving 1 hour of Respite Care to an Alzheimer's / dementia Family Caregiver so that they can run errands, keep appointments, shop for groceries, or even take a nap. Things that many take for granted.
If you donate $50.00, you are giving 2 hours of Respite Care to an Alzheimer's / dementia Family Caregiver so they can go on a dinner date, exercise, go to a movie, or visit with friends and family. Again, things many take for granted.
If you donate $100.00, you are giving 4 hours of respite care to an Alzheimer's / dementia Family Caregiver so they can have assistance with their loved one's bath, breakfast, lunch, dinner, grooming, catch up on sleep, have a partial day to relax and recharge their batteries, or help take their loved ones out. These things do not happen often for Alzheimer's / dementia families.
A donation of $200.00 will provide 8 hours of respite care for an Alzheimer's / dementia Family Caregiver. With this assistance, they can care for their loved one, have a full day for themselves, have a full day or night to spend with their spouses, partners, friends, family, etc. This is quite a gift to give families and is really unheard of in the caregiver world.
A $400.00 donation can provide Overnight Respite Care. Alzheimer's / dementia families can take an overnight vacation, go to a party, attend a major event in their family or friends' lives, or have some adult time. I, Vince Zangaro have only done this a handful of times with my wife since becoming a full-time Caregiver for the past 14 years. It truly is a blessing. It can help your relationship and marriage or just help you recharge to be a better Care Provider for the next extended time frame without a break.
A $500.00 donation will provide an Alzheimer's / dementia family all of the above, plus you receive an Alzheimer's Music Fest VIP Table (Only 10 are available and it fits a group of 4). This will be Balcony Seating with designated service and a separate bar. This package will also include an Alzheimer’s Music Fest Poster signed by artists performing.
All of those who donate will be able to honor a family, friend or on on the Alzheimer's Music Fest Banner. The Banner Will be the backdrop of the stage.
You can purchase tickets in advance HERE.
- Angela Downs
- Julie Smith
- Lori Long
- Lisa foster
- Maryann Makekau
Organizer and beneficiary
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