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UPDATE: Campbell's wife defends his care

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Glen Campbell's Alzheimer's disease has progressed to the point where he needs full-time professional care, his wife said Thursday, explaining her decision to place the singer in a long-term care facility and responding publicly for the first time to criticism from Campbell's eldest daughter.
In an email to The Associated Press, Kim Campbell wrote that doctors persuaded her earlier this spring to discontinue care at the family's home, drawing criticism from Campbell's daughter Debby.
"It is crushingly sad to see him afflicted with Alzheimer's but indulging those feelings does not help him," Campbell wrote, adding, "I am his wife and no one wants him home more than me but I must do what is in his best interest."
Debby Campbell told Country Weekly magazine last week that she objected to the move and that she and Campbell's eldest children heard about it through news media reports. She also said she did not believe family members in Nashville, where the Country Music Hall of Fame member now lives, were spending enough time with him.
Campbell, 78, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2011. He issued two albums and went on a world tour following the diagnosis. At the time, Kim Campbell said the tour was a way to help her husband combat the brain-ravaging disease and spend time with his family members, including Debby, who made up his band and traveled with him.
Glen Campbell has eight children, including three with Kim Campbell, his wife of 32 years. She says she spends time with her husband every day and that two of his children who live in Nashville visit weekly. Beyond that, she says she organizes activities for the Grammy Award-winning singer of such hits as "Rhinestone Cowboy" and "Wichita Lineman."
"He has longtime friends here in Nashville who come to play music for him and give him hugs," Kim Campbell said. "He has activities and therapies to stimulate him and help him experience daily moments of success. His life is filled with love and laughter and he is being cared for round the clock by people who specialize in Alzheimer's care and happen to adore him."

photos by Ray Tharaldson
all rights reserved 2014

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