Jann Arden poses for a portrait in Toronto in March 2016. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov)

Jann Arden’s mother, who had Alzheimer’s disease, dies

Arden works to curb stigma of dementia, talks on social media with others whose relatives have it

Jann Arden says her mother, a longtime sufferer of Alzheimer’s disease, has died.

The Calgary-born singer-songwriter took to social media early Sunday to confirm Joan Richards’ passing in a short post.

“Mom is gone,” she wrote on Instagram in a message accompanied by a photo of her mother.

Her fans and supporters responded with an outpouring of condolences.

Arden has been a tireless advocate for erasing the stigma of dementia. She’s spoken openly about her experiences with the disease, which also affected her late father.

Richards began showing signs of Alzheimer’s over a decade ago in her early 70s, Arden has said. Initially, the singer dismissed it as typical signs of her mother aging.

After her mother’s diagnosis, Arden began using social media to correspond with other people whose relatives were stricken by the disease.

The “Could I Be Your Girl” singer highlights some of her happier experiences in “Feeding My Mother,” a 2017 book about sharing time in the kitchen and cooking food with Richards.

Arden will play a “fictionalized version of herself” in the 2019 CTV series “Jann,” which follows a newly single singer-songwriter looking to revive her career while grappling with her mother’s early stages of dementia.

The Canadian Press

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