Glen Campbell’s wife Kim has opened up about coping with the late stages of her husband’s battle with Alzheimer’s disease, revealing that the legendary singer-songwriter returned home in late July from a medical facility.
“He calls me Mrs. Campbell. But he definitely understands smiles, hugs, kisses. He’s physically healthy, cheerful and content most of the time,” Kim told the Chattanooga Times Free Press of Chattanooga, Tennessee, noting that she is now her husband’s primary care-giver and that it can be challenging.
Kim, Campbell’s wife of 33 years, says the Country Music Hall of Famer has entered the sixth of the disease’s seven stages so his communication has diminished considerably and he has, as many Alzheimer’s patients do, become prone to physical outbursts. One resulted in a black eye for Kim.
“He can become extremely combative if you try to redirect him to something that he doesn’t want to do,” she explained to the newspaper. “I have a black eye right now. I know that’s not him, that’s not who he is; it’s just the Alzheimer’s.”
The Campbell family has been open in sharing news of the country pop icon’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis and battle, including releasing the poignant 2014 documentary film Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me — for which Campbell and his producer/co-writer Julian Raymond received a Best Song Oscar nomination for the closing track “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” — in hopes of raising awareness about the insidious disease.
“There is still a stigma attached to Alzheimer’s,” says Kim. “People are still embarrassed about it, and Glen’s intention was to break that stigma.”
In an interview with Rolling Stone Country earlier this summer, Campbell’s daughter Ashley said the entertainer still has his humor.
“He’s happy and content and smiles most of the time. He still makes jokes and likes to play around, even though the jokes don’t make any sense and it’s gibberish,” Ashley says. “He still goes through the motions and it’s still him.”