Once she suspected that her husband had a serious problem—more than just senior moments—she needed to get a diagnosis. Glen Campbell, now 79, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2011. He performed the final show of his farewell tour in late 2012. I have talked about how important an early diagnosis is for the patient and their loved ones alike but know you have this sage advice from someone who has witnessed the ravages of this dreaded disease. As Kim Campbell tells us from her first hand knowledge of this situation, "Getting the diagnosis helped me a lot," She was candid with the reporter who interview her recently about her what she has learned from her husband's healthcare crisis, admitting, "Before the diagnosis, I would get frustrated with him, and irritated and annoyed."
Alzheimer's impacts about half of all people over the age of 85 and kills nearly 100,000 Americans each year. It's named for the German doctor Alois Alzheimer, who discovered the distinctive tangles and plaques of the disease in the brain of a female dementia patient in 1906. Kim Campbell said the disease needs to be approached from a perspective of examining what the patient still can do versus what he or she can't. What can caregivers do to give them comfort and joy?
Glen Campbell now resides in a memory care unit. As with so many caregivers before her have tried Kim Campbell said she brought Glen Campbell home one last time — "I missed him so much, and I thought, I've just got to try it one more time. (But) I couldn't bathe him without a fight, or change his clothes. Glen's a big man, and he was not easy." Kim Campbell said she speaks out about Alzheimer's disease to help families because Alzheimer's "is definitely the most feared disease. You lose control of your life. There are identity issues and autonomy issues." Campbell also suggests that caregivers give themselves breaks and take care of themselves because the stress for caregivers is enormous.
She also emphasized that estate planning is very important and noted the need for advance health care directives. You can’t put this off any longer, we can help you with these important estate planning documents, call us to schedule your complimentary consultation today.
Reference: Lexington (KY) Herald Leader (February 24, 2016) "Wife of Glen Campbell takes on role of Alzheimer's advocate, speaker"