Robert Verdi, a leading lifestyle expert, celebrity stylist, television personality and son of a resident at Brandywine Living at Mountain Ridge, was interviewed by Yahoo! Lifestyle to spotlight Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month.
Style expert and TV personality Robert Verdi’s biggest fear is that one day he’ll fall victim to what an estimated 5.7 million Americans suffer from: Alzheimer’s disease. For the last 13 years, Verdi has dealt with the illness on a profound and personal level when not one, but both of his parents were diagnosed with it.
“My father was diagnosed in 2005; he died in 2010,” he tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “My mother had seven great years after my father’s death. Then a dark day came.”
Verdi recalls that one year he received a phone call from his sister saying she and her four children had each received four to six Easter cards from their mother, Maria. Soon after, Verdi’s mother started exhibiting more prominent signs of forgetfulness and confusion.
Verdi’s worst fears were realized when he discovered a multitude of reminders displayed around his mother’s house with his name, phone number, and his relationship to her. In addition, unbeknownst to him or his sister, Maria had been hoarding food for years because she would repeatedly go grocery shopping and then forget what she was buying.
“I’ve learned that it’s called compensating,” Verdi says. “People who have Alzheimer’s are covering up. They are aware that things aren’t perfect, and they come up with ways to solve those problems.”