Alzheimer's is no respecter of status, celebrity, fame, fortune or any of that other (seemingly) important stuff.
No, it is nasty.
Where did it get its name?
From the German doctor Alois Alzheimer. He first discovered the distinctive tangles and plaques of the disease in the brain of a female dementia patient in 1906.
When a loved one falls victim to Alzheimer's, it is said that "you eventually lose them twice" before all is said and done.
Kim Campbell, wife of music legend and entertainer Glen Campbell is experiencing this firsthand.
Kim first saw the signs, but chalked it up to the normal aging process.
However, once she suspected that her husband Glen had a serious problem—more than just senior moments—she needed to get a diagnosis.
Glen Campbell, now 79, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2011. He performed the final show of his farewell tour in late 2012.
"Getting the diagnosis helped me a lot," Kim Campbell said in a recent telephone interview with the Lexington Herald-Leader as reported in its article titled "Wife of Glen Campbell takes on role of Alzheimer's advocate, speaker."
She was candid with the reporter, admitting that "[b]efore the diagnosis, I would get frustrated with him, and irritated and annoyed."
Kim Campbell said the disease needs to be approached from a perspective of examining what the patient still can do versus what he or she cannot do. What can caregivers do to give them comfort and joy?
Glen Campbell now resides in a memory care unit.
Kim Campbell said she tried one last time to have her husband at home. As she put it, "I missed him so much, and I thought, I've just got to try it one more time. (But) I couldn't bathe him without a fight, or change his clothes. Glen's a big man, and he was not easy."
Kim Campbell said she speaks out about the disease to help other families struggling with it too.
Campbell also suggests that caregivers give themselves breaks and take care of themselves because the stress for caregivers is enormous.
She also emphasized that estate planning is very important and noted the need for advance health care directives.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri), visit our estate planning website and be sure to subscribe to our complimentary estate planning e-newsletter and weekly blog digest while you are there.
Reference: Lexington (KY) Herald Leader (February 24, 2016) "Wife of Glen Campbell takes on role of Alzheimer's advocate, speaker"