VIDEO + TRANSCRIPT:
As country legend Glen Campbell entered the final stages of Alzheimer’s, his family allowed NBC to spend some time with him. See this uplifting video.
I must say I didn’t know what to expect when we journeyed to the memory care facility outside Nashville where country legend Glen Campbell has been living since last spring. More than 5 million people in America have Alzheimer’s, with a new diagnosis every 67 seconds. Like those millions of others, it has touched my family, too.
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Before heading to Nashville, I had been deeply moved by the new documentary “Glen Campbell… I’ll be Me,” produced by James Keach and Trevor Albert. (It’s opening in New York and Nashville Oct. 24; across the country after that.) The film captures Campbell’s descent into Alzheimer’s — from the diagnosis through a 151-date farewell tour and the triumphs and challenges. As Keach puts it, the film portrays “the gnarly truth.”
Campbell had decided it was only by being completely open about his battle with the disease that he could hope to help others cope with the stigma and shame that often accompany the diagnosis. The unblinking portrait is familiar and heartbreaking to anyone who has seen a loved one travel this road. Campbell’s sweetness and humor is on full display along with his frustrations as the disease worsens.
Both backstage and on stage, the tour video is solid gold. Even as Campbell’s memory fades — and he is forced to rely on the teleprompter for the lyrics to even his most familiar hits — his ability to play the guitar remains extraordinary. Shooting for the film ended nearly two years ago when the disease was still in its relatively early stage — progressing during the tour from Stage 2 to 4. Now, we were told, he is in late Stage 6 of the disease. Stage 7 is the end of the line. What, I wondered, would Campbell be like now?
Campbell’s wife of 32 years, Kim Woollen, took me for a visit with him. Before the visit I asked her if her husband still plays the guitar. She told us that he has two guitars with him and that “sometimes he gives us a big surprise, he’ll pick it up and we’re like, whoa! Where did that come from?”
In March, Dr. Ronald Petersen, director of the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and Campbell’s doctor, advised his wife that it was time to move him to a specialized memory care facility that could care for him 24 hours a day.
Kim tells me she is at the facility virtually every day, feeding her husband his lunch and bathing him.
On the day of our visit, he brightens when he sees her. And happily joins us for a stroll holding both our hands. While there is no conversation possible now, he decides to play the guitar for me. According to Dr. Petersen, motor memory is often the last to go.
For all that has been lost, music remains in the man.
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my sister is only 58 and has advanced Alzheimers. my mom is 81 and only has slight memory issues. heart breaking to see my sister this way
My Dad is 81 & ok My Wife is 67 & has been going through the stages of vascular Dementia since 2010 & now showing signs of long term memory loss also. God Bless, Prayers to you & yours.
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I am writing from Europe, and would like to write to Glen Campbell and other Alzheimer's suffering persons, about something they could try to reduce the effects of Alzheimer's, at least, to give it a try is far better than doing nothing.
There are many studies (in Europe, in the United States of America: see http://www.ibcmt.com/) about the correlating effects of heavy metalls (i.e. aluminium, mercury …) accumulated in tissue (i.e. in the brain) and many disseases, including Alzheimer's.
There exist medical methods (DMPS, ZnDPTA, …) applied by the World's leading toxicologists for more than 20 years that allow the extraction of that metals from the tissues in the body where the metals are accumulated. That is perhaps not the cure of a dissease, but it is indeed a way to improve health, then, it has been already proofed, both medically and scientifically, that keeping those metals in the body would definitely lead to disease.
I'am 30 years old, eating fish and other contaminated food all my life, and after reading about the topic of accumulation of heavy metals in the body and the way to extract them from the body, I have understood many things! In Germany (and in some other countries) there are good doctors that know about all health concerns related to heavy metals and many diseases.
I hope with my words to encourage families and Alzheimers Centers to learn more about the effects on health of heavy metals and how to avoid exposure and get treatment, because only reducing exposure and keeping the body clean of toxic metals (some like mercury accumulates during 30 years, aluminium during 29!) will for sure improve health.
To be in the 6th or in the 7th Stage of an Alzheimer's disease, does not mean that that person is death or going to be death. The person is still alive, and perhaps getting read of accumulated toxic metalls would increase health and give memory back, perhaps a tiny part, perhaps a bit more.
Here you can read more about several medical and scientific studies of heavy metalls of one of the leading scientifics in the world:
(in German language)
Please, let know this to Glen Campbell and his family, and to other people affected by Alzheimer!
Best greatings and keep playing/listening to music, so that the neurones keep working!
Beatriz Pérez P.