Richard Roman is a songwriter and playwright from Ohio. Most of the songs he writes are inspirational. In 2010, Rick began working with Jeana Potthoff, a Nebraskan wife and mother to a 12-year-old girl. Jeana teaches piano and violin lessons and composes music. Together, Rick and Jeana write songs with powerful messages to help the causes they care about. Their most recent work is a music video titled “Hiding from the Rain.” It tells a story about how love can endure, even when faced with losing someone to Alzheimer's disease.
Rick's parents, Andrew and Dorothy
in their younger years.
Both Rick and Jeana have witnessed first-hand the devastation that memory loss from dementia can cause to those who have it and their families.
Rick took care of his father, Andrew. "One of the saddest parts of taking care of my dad was his short term memory loss. After my mom passed on, he would not remember it. Every time we saw him, he would ask if mom was gone, and we would have to tell him again. It broke his heart each time. Then one day the memory stuck, and he passed away a few months later.” Rick credits being the leader of his Boy Scouts troop with helping to prepare him for becoming a caregiver. Those early experiences became the foundation of how he would handle his father's dementia.
When Jeana was a teenager, her paternal grandmother, Elsie, was diagnosed with dementia. Jeana watched Elsie turn into a shell of the woman she once was. Elsie went from being a wonderful wife, mother, seamstress, and conversationalist to someone who couldn't remember her family. As a newlywed, Jeana again experienced the devastation of Alzheimer's disease. Her maternal grandfather, Calvin, was diagnosed with it. Calvin lived at home with his wife. Eventually, he could not be left alone.
“Caring for someone with dementia really is a group effort. It takes a full-time commitment, and caregivers need a lot of support to get through every day,” says Jeana.
Jeana's Grandparents, Calvin and Jean
Rick and Jeana hope that “Hiding from the Rain” will help raise awareness and reach young people. They hope that the younger generation will step up in the battle against this disease.
“If love could cure Alzheimer's it would have by now because the caregivers have so much love in them. They give their love unconditionally and make so many sacrifices in taking care of their love ones. The burden they carry feels like the weight of the world at times. We need to devote whatever it takes to find a cure or way to prevent the disease to show our country's love for the caregivers,” said Rick.
Ultimately, the songwriters hope that no family has to live with dementia. They want medical science to find a cure, and for the families living with Alzheimer's disease to have the support they need to make it through their difficult journeys.