Glen Campbell has been a legend in country music for decades, which is why it is so heartbreaking for his family, and for his fans around the world, to see his deteriorating health. The country superstar is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, which was diagnosed in 2011, and it has been a battle ever since. His wife, Kim Campbell, has given an update on how her husband is doing these days. His condition has worsened, as expected, and is now in the later stages where he doesn’t understand much at all, but he still seems to enjoy music.
The 80-year-old singer has been struggling with his speech and mobility just as most Alzheimer’s patients do at this stage of the disease. His wife spoke with the Tennessean on the struggles, emotional moments, and joy that she has experienced as they go through this trial in their lives. She has been with Glen every step of the way and had been taking care of him with love in her heart, but that doesn’t mean there were not moments of distress and depression.
Mrs. Campbell looked back on the very early stages of this horrible brain disease when she began to notice the signs that something was wrong two years before his official diagnosis. There were times of him asking the same questions over and repeatedly forgetting things. In addition, he began to follow her around everywhere and was adamant about having things just the way he wanted them in the house. He didn’t want items in the drawers but out on the counters where he could see them.
She has admitted that despite the fact that she now understands things and has compassion for her other half, it can definitely be draining at times. Being a constant caregiver to her husband was often lonely. She says that caregivers can also lose their identity, just as the Alzheimer’s patient does.
“It just takes over your life. They are losing their identity, because they can’t remember who they are, but as a caregiver you are losing your identity. You have to give up everything you are doing to take care of them.”
Kim knows everything it takes to care for someone who needs constant help. Glen Campbell is now in the later stages of Alzheimer’s, and it got to be too much for his wife of 34 years to handle. According to ABC News, she moved him into a full-time Nashville care facility in 2014 where she visits with him every day. She did this because of her fear that he would somehow wander out of the house or get hurt going down the stairs at night. It was a constant 24-hour worry for her, and it got to be too much for her. She also mentioned that the “Rhinestone Cowboy” singer would end up fighting her as she was taking care of his daily needs such as bathing and dressing him.
Glen Campbell still enjoys listening to music, but can no longer strum on his own guitar. His words are not recognizable much anymore either, but his wife does say that the legendary country star still had his essence about him. He does play a mean air guitar, though, as his daughter Ashley said. She brings hers to sing to him while she is visiting. She says that her dad just sits back and listens and that there are moments when just a little bit of something sinks in.
Kim Campbell has now become an advocate for Alzheimer’s awareness and research. She has been traveling around speaking out on this issue and also offers comfort and help for other caregivers who are going through what she has.
Glen Campbell has been providing country music fans with a glimpse into his life through his songs for so many years, and they are giving back with their love and support. His wife mentioned that the country community has been a light as well. His final tour, while he was in the earlier stages of this disease, was his way of saying farewell to everyone before he got to the place where it took over his mind and memories completely.
[Featured Image by Gaye Gerard/Getty Images]