Ever since the late country star Glen Campbell was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, his family, especially his wife, Kim Campbell had become his primary caregiver and decision-maker. It was indeed a huge shift in their day-to-day lives and likewise an even bigger responsibility that Kim had to take on. Having carried the responsibilities of looking after her Alzheimer’s-stricken husband, she also had to face so much backlash from fans and other family members.
Kim and Glen were married for 34 years. They were married in 1982, two years after Glen’s relationship with ex-wife Sarah Barg came to an end.
Her supporters were never aware of the struggle that she had to face while she nursed and cared for her late husband, up until she finally broke her silence and shed light on the matter.
“Trolls on the internet said very unkind things…I’d get death threats.”
With every decision she made that involved Glen’s well-being, people she both knew and did not, always had something negative to say about it. “I’d been married for almost 35 years to this man and was always good to him.” It started when Kim decided to transfer the country legend in an assisted living facility. She began hearing and reading unsolicited opinions and remarks. People questioned why she did not opt to hire a big and muscular man to assist her husband instead.
The paradise that Kim and her husband found within the comforts of the long-term care facility was the total opposite of what she had to endure in the world outside. She had disputes with some of Glen’s children who accused her of mishandling their father’s finances and necessities. Her husband’s children even went as far as to consult a judge and ask for the protection of Glen’s interests through appointing a guardian and conservators. This led to the creation of the Campbell/Falk Act, or the act that permitted family members and close friends of someone diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, dementia and other similar disabilities to visit their relative regardless of the judgment and opinion of a conservator.
For Kim, being attacked and sued deliberately by people related to her husband was much harder than having to face the challenges that came with caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s.
“They never asked. They only attacked. To be slandered while he was dying was beyond the pale. It was very painful.”
Kim adds that when Glen Campbell was moved into a memory care facility in Nashville called Abe’s Garden, her husband lived his life in absolute peace despite the protests and objections of his relatives and fans. Contrary to when he stayed with them at their house, Glen would always rip their cabinets off the wall and pull out all of the dishes on the floor whenever Kim put child locks on the kitchen cabinets.
— Abe's Garden (@AbesGarden) September 17, 2015
Even the neurologist that Kim consulted was on her side, stating that he was baffled why she tried to care for her husband within the boundaries of their home. “I had never considered long-term care. There is a terrible stereotype around that, but I didn’t know there were memory care communities designed specifically for people with dementia—and their entire family.”
Just like her husband, Kim was able to finally feel at ease inside Abe’s Garden. There, the spouses and families of fellow individuals who suffered from dementia and Alzheimer’s gave her support and friendship. They helped each other cope and work through the grieving process while continuously sharing a community of love and encouragement. “It was one big family.” Kim described.
On January 18, Kim Campbell, along with her children, Glen Campbell’s ex-spouses and his kids in his previous marriages will be attending a court hearing. The hearing is in light of the late legendary country singer’s decision to exclude three of his children from benefitting directly from his estate.
Glen Cambell, Kim Campbell
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