Glen Campbell's Family Argues Over Ailing Icon's Medical Care

Rhinestone Cowboy fights Alzheimer's disease in a Nashville facility

June 19, 2014 11:25 AM ET
Glen Campbell
Glen Campbell
David Livingston/Getty Images

While Glen Campbell battles Alzheimer's disease in a Nashville care facility, his family members are battling themselves.

Glen Campbell Looks Back on Life and Career in 'A Better Place'

Debby Campbell, the singer's older daughter, wants her dad to return to Arizona, where he lived until recently. Kim Woollen, his wife since 1982, wants him to remain in Nashville. Spearheaded by members of his "old" and "new" families, the battle for control of Campbell's health, career and legacy has resurfaced several times during the past decade, including his rocky farewell tour in 2012.

Eager to play one final round of shows with his memory still intact, Campbell hit the road two years ago. Several members of his family came along for the ride, including Debby, who sang harmonies and whispered the songs' lyrics whenever her father needed a little help. Campbell's health was deteriorating quickly, though — at one show, he cued the band for a performance of "Rhinestone Cowboy" less than 10 minutes after they'd first played the song — and Kim Woollen wound up taking charge of the tour. As a result, Debby reportedly lost her job as backup singer, and several of Campbell's longtime bandmates were also given the boot. Kim filled the vacant band slots with her own children.

Now, with Glen Campbell spending his days in a small bedroom with few furnishings, the family members are squaring off once again. Debby thinks her dad is receiving substandard care in an unfamiliar place. Kim, who hasn't issued any public statements, seems to disagree.

"I think my dad deserves better than this," Debby tells Country Weekly. "I'm not saying it's bad by any means, but I don’t think he's getting the attention that he needs. If I felt that [his family in Nashville] was spending hours with him and eating meals with him, it would be different. If I lived there, I would want to spend from the time he wakes in the morning until the evening with him... But why can't I do that in the comfort of my own home with him, instead of flying to Nashville and going to a care facility?"

Debby further reports that her father is "doing good," and recognizes her as a loved one, though not always as his daughter. Campbell was first diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease back in 2011.

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