David Cassidy Tells Of Mum’s ‘heartbreaking’ Dementia Struggle

click image to enlarge
May 18, 2012 | 3:56am EST

David Cassidy has broken his silence about his mum Evelyn Ward’s battle with dementia in a bid to raise awareness of the illness.
The ex-teenage idol admits it has been “heartbreaking” to watch the actress struggle with an Alzheimer’s-related disease for the last 10 years.
Recalling the moment when he first realised how severe her condition was, he says, “I got a call from a hospital in California. My mother had been found in her nightgown in the middle of the road after midnight. She didn’t know where she was, and was admitted to the psychiatric ward. It was one of the most traumatic events of my life.”
Cassidy reveals the 88 year old now receives 24-hour care at a Los Angeles nursing facility as she can no longer speak.
He tells Britain’s Daily Mail, “She went downhill quite fast about two years ago. She can’t walk or talk. I went to see her about a month ago and she recognised me, as a tear came down her face.
“My mother basically raised me for years on her own and worked to support me. She did over 20 Broadway shows and was a very independent, talented, loving human being. Seeing such a vibrant woman reduced to this is really just heartbreaking…
“It would be wrong to say I wish my mother would pass but I wish my mother would pass with dignity. It’s so painful seeing her like this. It’s such a cruel and debilitating disease.”
And Cassidy hopes that by coming forward with his story he can encourage others to share their experiences too.
He adds, “People don’t really want to talk about it, but we need to, which is why I’m going to be speaking publicly about it.”