Despite Advancing Alzheimer’s Disease, Glen Campbell’s Wife Says His Faith Remains Strong
Since 2011, Glen Campbell has been battling Alzheimer's disease, and his memory and abilities have continued to deteriorate. In March, Campbell's wife Kim revealed that her husband had entered Stage 7, the final stage of Alzheimer's disease and had lost his ability to verbally communicate; however, in a new interview, the country icon's wife explains that she knows that his faith is still as strong as ever.
"Faith has always been the central part of our relationship," Kim Campbell tells the Toronto Star. "I’m so pleased that as Glen has entered the later stages of this illness, it’s evident that he has retained his awareness of God."
Recalling when her husband could still speak, Campbell says, "There have been times when he’d walk over to a window and look at the beautiful trees outside, and he’d just raise his hands and say, ‘Thank you, heavenly father.’ He could barely speak at all, but he could come up with ‘We’re so blessed’ or ‘Thank you, heavenly father.’
"That really comforts me to know that he has that sense of God’s presence in his life, that he’s not alone, even if I’m not right next to him," she adds.
Sadly, though, in addition to his ability to speak, Glen Campbell has also lost his ability to play the guitar; his muscle memory is largely gone.
"Sadly, if you live long enough into this disease, you even lose that,” Kim Campbell explains. “He cannot play guitar anymore. I don’t even know if he knows what it’s for. But our children come and play for him. It’s hard to tell if he’s responding to it much. Sometimes he’ll listen, and sometimes he’s distracted. He’s in his own world right now."
The country legend's family has not revealed which memory care facility he is in, in the interest of his privacy, but his wife says that he is "getting great care, he’s happy, he’s cheerful. He’s healthy."
"But there’s life and energy and community," she continues, describing the facility. "He’s there with other people — doctors, lawyers — who are all facing the same thing. I’m in a community with other family members who are going through the same thing.”
Patients with Stage 7 Alzheimer's are nearing death, and while that's a sad thought, Kim Campbell notes that she is proud of how her husband faced his diagnosis head on and was candid with his fans about it.
“Glen is one of the first people who came out and lived with dementia before the public. It was his choice to do it. He was, I think, really brave," she confesses. "Now, we’ve reached that stage where I am trying to protect his dignity.”
Glen Campbell Through the Years