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“I’ll Be Me”: What We Can Learn About Alzheimer’s Care from Glen Campbell

This November, the Kansas Education Conference on Dementia will host keynote speaker Kim Campbell. Wife and caregiver to country music star Glen Campbell, Kim will be speaking about the challenges her family faced during her husband’s battle with Alzheimer’s. Glen passed away in August of this year and Kim has continued to share her honest, relatable experience with providing Alzheimer’s care for a spouse.

When Glen Campbell was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2011, he and his family made the courageous decision to share their experience with filmmakers. The documentary “Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me” follows Glen, Kim, and their 3 adult children on Glen’s Goodbye Tour. [Source]

Alzheimer’s is a progressive, irreversible and untreatable disease. While researchers continue their work, there is currently no cure. Many communities throughout the country participate in fundraisers like The Walk to End Alzheimer’s to contribute to the cause. But even with all of this awareness, few people truly see those who suffer from Alzheimer’s and dementia.

ComfortCare Homes provides Alzheimer’s care to our senior Residents every day. Our caregivers support seniors as they forget how to do activities they once loved. We offer resources for family members who witness the drawn-out loss of loved ones who no longer recognize them.

The Glen Campbell documentary offers a unique, and often unseen, look into the wide scope of challenges brought on by Alzheimer’s disease. The “I’ll Be Me” documentary captures Glen’s final year on the road. No one knew how this decision would turn out; if Glen would be able to play, remember the lyrics, and function under the stress of tour. [Source]

Without giving away too much of the story, both Glen’s family and his medical team were astonished at how much the music seemed to benefit his Alzheimer’s care. While some of this may be attributed to his personal drive and determination, it seems that continuing to do what he loved helped Glen maintain some sense of self as his world became unfamiliar. [Source]

What We Can Learn From Glen Campbell’s Story

Although Glenn eventually passed away from Alzheimer’s disease, his story is not a hopeless one. The legacy of his career and music will live on in the hearts of Americans for years to come. His courage and that of his wife and children to share their experience has given the world a unique look into how Alzheimer’s impacts the lives of loved ones.

For those who provide Alzheimer’s care for a loved one or as a vocation, you are not alone. Feeling sad, lost, angry, and helpless are all legitimate. Finding care assistance for your loved one or participating in local support groups may help you deal with the grief of slowly losing someone to Alzheimer’s disease.

For those who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or are close to someone who has, continue to do what you love. For Glen Campbell, he was still able to play the guitar even after his memory and verbal skills diminished, causing him to forget the lyrics to songs he had performed for 4 or 5 decades.

Continuing an active lifestyle surrounded by loved ones and those who provide Alzheimer’s care can help those battling the disease. This can mean maintaining hobbies like playing an instrument, knitting, reading, and taking walks. As the disease progresses, simply listening to favorite music can provide comfort.

What we can learn most from the Glen Campbell story is a breakthrough attitude about Alzheimer’s disease. Kim Campbell continues to share her insights on caregiving, particular what it is like to provide Alzheimer’s care for a spouse. She stresses the importance of caring for yourself and knowing when to reach out for help.

ComfortCare Homes proudly offers expert Alzheimer’s and dementia care in Wichita, KS. We are happy to speak with you about your care options and any resources you and your loved one may need. Continue to check our blog for updates and contact us with any questions!

For more information about memory care services provided by ComfortCare Homes, please call our office at (316) 444-0532.

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