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Did Glen Campbell Parents Have Alzheimer’s

His Daughter With Diane Kirk

Glen Campbell Passes Away At Age 81

In 1954, Campbell got married to Diane Kirk. At the time, he was only 17 and she was 15 and expecting the couples first child, part of the reason they decided to marry so young. Sadly, their child died as ababy.

Then in 1956, the pair welcomed their daughter, Debby, who eventually went on to marry an Air Force MP. Campbell and Kirk divorced in 1959, in what sources say was an amicable split.

Campbell Seems To Have Stayed Sweet And Upbeat Do Peoples Personalities Stay The Same After A Diagnosis

Petersen: In general, I think most people remain consistent with their previous personality characteristics.

If a person was a nice individual throughout his or her life, that probably will continue and that certainly was exactly the case with Glen.

On the other hand, there are instances where people do undergo a change. The plaques and tangles that cause the disease may be distributed in the brain in different regions in different people. If you get more of the frontal lobes involved, which to a certain extent dictate our behavior, personality, social appropriateness, you may get these behavioral personality changes. Its variable.

Glen remained the nicest person always socially appropriate, cordial, polite well into the disease. He may not know who you are, but he still treats you with respect and you could have a reasonable somewhat superficial but a very nice conversation with him. I never saw him irritable, impolite or rude at any point in the disease process.

Loss Of Language During Alzheimers

Glen Campbell developed aphasia during the later stages of Alzheimers. Northwestern University researchers state that primary progressive aphasia is caused by Alzheimers 30 40% of the time, though its unknown if Campbells aphasia was part of or separate from the Alzheimers. This article from Northwestern is a great resource for more information on Alzheimers disease, Alzheimers dementia, and primary progressive aphasia.

His wife, Kim, described his situation before his death:

He has aphasia, so hes lost most of his language. He doesnt understand much. Occasionally, he can say a short sentence an automatic response like I love you or How are you doing? The words dont register meaning in his head.

But he still has his essence, Kim says.

There are times when he still tries to tell jokes. Its often gibberish, but it still makes Kim laugh. Occasionally, he will break into an air guitar though he doesnt play a real one anymore. Other times, he tries to sing.

Kim has done a lot of work reaching out to and supporting other caregivers like herself, giving advice about combating depression and making decisions that are best for each individual family.

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New Book Details His Addictions Battle With Alzheimer’s Disease And What Caregivers Need To Know

by Edna Gundersen, AARP, June 15, 2020

En espaƱol | Kim Campbell recalls the day her husband, Glen Campbell, impulsively tried to buy a huge bottle of Pepto-Bismol in a drugstore. She stopped him, only to learn later that he intended it as a romantic gift for her and was drawn to its bright-pink hue.

“It broke my heart when I realized I had robbed him of the opportunity to do something meaningful, she says. That was so precious. I want people to make sure they take the time to listen to someone with dementia. Don’t be dismissive and think they don’t know what they’re doing. There might be something beautiful behind the way their brain is working.

Kim, 61, was the country superstar’s wife for 34 years until his death, in 2017, at age 81, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. She examines her life, their marriage and his struggles with alcoholism and dementia in her new autobiography, Gentle on My Mind: In Sickness and in Health with Glen Campbell, which serves as a celebration of her husband’s storied career, as well as a love story, a harrowing account of living with an addict and a guide for caregivers.

“My main message is that you can’t do it alone, Kim says, conceding that she was slow to learn that lesson.

There Hasnt Been A New Treatment For Alzheimers In More Than 15 Years What Is The Conversation Like With Patients Who Have Just Been Diagnosed Considering Treatment Options Are Still So Limited

Ashley Campbell reveals the little glimpses of dad Glen ...

It can be challenging, but we do have some drugs on the market that treat the symptoms of the disease and improve quality of life. We dont have any disease-modifying therapies, but clinical trials are underway and it might be important for you to consider these yourself. It may or may not help you, but its likely to help the person coming after you. And also we dont have to focus totally on pharmaceutical treatments for the disease, because there are certain behavioral and lifestyle factors, things you can do to try to preserve your function as the disease progresses.

Glen and the movie may give some credence to that insofar as his wife, Kim, said that at least through the first year or so, she thought Glen remained relatively stable. And she thinks it was the social and intellectual stimulation, allowing him to do what he had done throughout his entire life that is, perform that kept him going at a higher level for a longer period of time than if they would have pulled back at the time of diagnosis.

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In Your Practice Treating Patients With Alzheimers Do They Often Bring Up Glen And His Movie

Absolutely. I think it makes people feel a bit more comfortable. You know, Glen Campbell had this. He experienced this. His family, Kim, his wife, went through this and, gee, weve had a similar set of circumstances.

I think one of the most impactful features of the film was the fact that he did develop some behavioral difficulties toward the end of the tour and the end of the documentary. Kim and the family and the band had to deal with this on a day-to-day basis, and I think that was somewhat comforting to the average person out there who may be experiencing similar difficulties in the behaviors of their loved ones and are saying, Gee, Im no different from Kim Campbell she went through the same thing.

Backing Up Mom And Dad

While the documentary is about the man and his music, Keach focuses on what helps Campbell still perform in front of thousands, even with his increasing memory lapses: family.

One poignant moment during several of his tour stops is watching his 27-year-old daughter, Ashley, who has toured with Campbell since 2009, go toe to toe with dads musical talent. She plays guitar, banjo and keyboards, and it is the highlight of the farewell tour concert when Ashley and Glen Campbell play dueling banjo/guitar.

Just as she backs up her dad on stage, Ashley backs up her mom as caregiver to Campbell.

Its been quite a ride, Ashley says. To spend time with him is such a gift, especially when you know whats happening. Most people take it for granted that their parents are there and with them. Im just trying to spend every minute with my dad.

Ashley is acutely aware of the caregiving challenges for someone with dementia a role 15 million Americans are playing today. She is in tune with how she can support her family, and made a decision to move back home shortly after Campbells diagnosis.

Ive been living at home the last few years since my senior year of college to help out my mom. Its not a one-person job, Ashley says.

She believes caregivers of those with dementia shouldnt stay in the shadows. Keep your friends around you and never be ashamed of whats happening, she tells me. You should never go through it alone.

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How Big Of A Departure Is That From What Patients Usually Do

Well, for one, he was willing to come out and to disclose his diagnosis, and then to let somebody chronicle it over time, because thats the scary part.

And I must say that some of the people in his band really had some concerns that he was going to embarrass himself on the stage. One of his stage managers, Bill Maclay, said at the outset, I thought this tour was going to be people coming to watch a NASCAR race looking for the crashes. And in fact, he said, I couldnt have been farther from reality. The fans came: They loved him. They knew this was going to be the last time theyd see Glen Campbell, and they didnt care if he messed up. If he sang the same song twice or had to stop in the middle of the song didnt matter. They were there to hear and support Glen Campbell.

Thats very encouraging, I think, as to how society is dealing with this disease. And hopefully we can translate that into improved funding and participation in clinical trials.

Alzheimer’s Disease: The Basics

Family of Glen Campbell talks about dealing with Alzheimer’s disease

What is Alzheimer’s disease ? AD is defined by the National Institutes of Health as “an irreversible, progressive brain disease that slowly destroys memory, thinking skills, and the ability to carry out simple tasks of daily living.” In AD, cognitive function declines as brain cells malfunction and eventually die. The brains of people with AD contain plaques and tangles that seem to interfere with the normal functioning of the brain. However, scientists don’t understand the exact role played by these plaques and tangles, which also sometimes appear in the brains of people without .

How common is AD? More than 5 million Americans have AD.

What are the symptoms of AD? “Forgetfulness beyond what you would expect for normal aging,” says Janet Jankowiak, M.D., “things like forgetting appointments or recent events, or repeating stories from a few minutes ago.” Patients may have difficulty with “something they have always been able to do,” like managing a checkbook. “When AD gets more serious,” says Dr. Jankowiak, “patients may wander.”

What treatments are available for AD? Currently, no cure for AD exists. However, two types of drugs can temporarily improve cognitive problems such as memory loss and confusion.

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His Parents John Wesley And Carrie Dell Campbell Had 12 Children

GettyGlen Campbell attends the 2011 NAMM Show.

Glen Campbell was the seventh son of 12 children. His parents were John Wesley and Carrie Dell Campbell. He was born on April 22, 1936 in Billstown, a small community in Arkansas. His dad, John Wesley, was a sharecropper. He was born into tough economic times for his family, but his dad still bought him a $5 Sears Roebuck guitar when he was four, but they didnt have electricity for him to plug it in. Growing up, he shared a bed with his three brothers.

His family moved to Houston and then to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he began to perform in nigthclubs as a teen.

Inside Country Legend Glen Campbell’s Battle With Alzheimer’s

Despite the progression of the disease, Campbell brightens when he sees his wife and amazingly, can still play the guitar. Experts say Alzheimer’s patients often communicate in their “first language” as the disease progresses for Campbell that language is music.

The five-time Grammy winner and Country Music Hall of Famer went public with his Alzheimers diagnosis in 2011, hoping to raise awareness about the devastating disease.

“We need to let people know about this disease, we need to do something about it,” Woolen remembers her husband telling her at the time. “He really made himself vulnerable, because he wanted to make a difference.”

Campbell has not performed in public since November of 2012. Today, his record label released his final studio recording: a heart-breaking ballad, Im Not Gonna Miss You.

The single was recorded in January 2013 just months after Campbell stopped performing in public.

Campbells wife tells McFadden that her husbands doctors have told her he is now nearing the end of the 6th stage of Alzheimers, and requires 24-hour professional care. The disease is measured in 7 stages, with the last being the most severe.

“He’s still Glen Campbell, and he still loves and feels and expresses joy and sadness,” Woolen says. “I thank God each day that I have with him that he still knows who I am.”

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Many Of His Relatives Were Musicians And Helped Guide His Passion For Music

Getty Jimmy Webb and Glen Campbell perform at Jane Seymours 2nd annual Open Hearts Foundation Celebration held at a private residency on April 21, 2012.

Many of Glens relatives were musicians, too, or encouraged his passion for music. He said that his uncle, Boo, taught him how to play the guitar when he was very young. His first opportunity to sing was at the local Church of Christ, where his grandfather was a preacher.

In 1954, he joined his uncles Dick Bills band, the Sandia Mountain Boys. He also appeared on his uncles radio show. Four years later he formed his own band, the Western Wranglers.

How Does Music Affect Alzheimers Patients In General

At Glen Campbell

Petersen: Music stored in the brain from a bygone era can actually stimulate some memories and some motor functions.

If you think about songs that you knew when you were a teenager, those memories like old memories of families and photographs are relatively retained far into the disease and can be a source of comfort for the person.

Music therapy can have a calming effect, reducing the need for medications. If an Alzheimers patient becomes agitated later in the day, so-called sundowning, rather than giving them a sedative medication that may have side effects, you can give them a musical experience. Its beneficial and enjoyable.

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Glen Campbell’s Alzheimer’s Battle Captured On Film

What that tells us is maybe we shouldnt dwell on what we cannot do because of the disease, but focus on what we still can do. One interpretation of the documentary is exactly that. Here is a person who really was moderately affected by the disease, yet he continued doing what he loved to do, he was surrounded by his family and friends and maintained a pretty high quality of life well into the disease.

Read 1999 High Profile On Glen Campbell

Gov. Asa Hutchinson also responded to the news of the death.

“Although Glen Campbell lived in a lot of places and performed his songs all over the world, I have always thought of him as ours,” Hutchinson said in a statement released Tuesday afternoon. “He was a proud Arkansan who had a huge impact on the music world.”

Campbell released more than 70 albums during his 50-year career and sold more than 45 million records, placing 80 songs on the Billboard Country Chart, the Billboard Hot 100 or the Adult Contemporary Chart.

Campbell’s last studio album, Adios, was released June 9 after he recorded it after his Goodbye Tour that started in 2011.

“He learned to play the guitar real good,” his brother Gerald Campbell, 86, told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in May. “We all played some, but Glen picked it up and he could tear that thing up.”

Campbell and his siblings grew up on a hardscrabble farm in southern Arkansas where they picked cotton at early ages and learned to be self-sufficient, Gerald Campbell said.

Glen learned to swim by diving off a 40-foot bluff on the Little Missouri River near the family home where relatives often held picnics.

Music was part of his life at an early age.

“I always watched after Glen,” Gerald Campbell said. “When he went to playing the guitar when he was about 10, a lot of the other boys were jealous of him because all the girls gathered around to hear him play and sing. They’d try to give him trouble, but I had his back.”

A Section on 08/09/2017

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Death Legacy And Tributes

In June 2011, Campbell announced he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease six months earlier. He became a patient at an Alzheimer’s long-term care and treatment facility in 2014. That same year Campbell was the subject of the documentary Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me, directed by longtime friend James Keach, that examined Campbell’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis and how it affected his musical performances during his final tour across the United States with his family. The documentary received critical acclaim, being one of the rare films to achieve a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Campbell died in Nashville, Tennessee, on August 8, 2017, at the age of 81. He was buried in the Campbell family cemetery in Billstown, Arkansas.

In June 2020, Campbell’s wife of 34 years, Kim Campbell, published Gentle on My Mind: In Sickness and in Health with Glen Campbell, a memoir of their life together.

Kim Campbell Alzheimers Disease Advocate And Widow Of Music Legend Glen Campbell To Keynote Ana2019 October 13

Glen Campbell Loses Battle With Alzheimer’s

Kim Campbell, Alzheimer’s disease advocate and widow of Grammy Hall of Fame and Award-winning music legend Glen Campbell

WHO: Kim Campbell, Alzheimers disease advocate and widow of Grammy Hall of Fame and Award-winning music legend Glen Campbell and ANA President David Holtzman, MD, ANA President, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Neurology at the Washington University School of Medicine. The keynote address for the American Neurological Associations 2019 Annual Meeting. Ms. Campbell will offer the caregiver perspective during the Presidential Symposium on Dominantly Inherited and Late-Onset Alzheimers Disease chaired by Dr. Holtzman.

WHEN: Sunday, October 13, 2019. Plenary runs from 9:15 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Ms. Campbell is scheduled to speak at 11 am.

WHERE: Marriott St. Louis Grand, Majestic Ballroom 800 Washington Avenue, St Louis, 63101

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