Alzheimer’s disease caregivers often face the dilemma of whether to seek outside care, something country music legend Glen Campbell’s widow knows all about, as she revealed in a recent interview.
“It's not like any other disease, because you're taking care of someone who can't reason or think and, in the later stages, can't communicate,” Kim Campbell said during a visit to Raleigh, North Carolina, WRAL-TV reported.
Her husband announced in 2011 that he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and retired shortly after, Rolling Stone magazine reported. In August 2017 he died at 81.
During the course of his illness, Kim Campbell wrestled with the ethical decision of taking care of her husband or seeking outside hep but, as the disease progressed, she opted for professional assistance.
“He became combative, and the doctor recommended that I look into a memory care community,” she said, according to WRAL-TV.
As of 2018, an estimated 5.7 million people in the U.S. are living with Alzheimer's dementia, the Alzheimer’s Association noted.
Every 65 seconds, someone develops the illness, and the numbers are only expected to get worse.
By 2016, the number of people with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias in the U.S. over the age of 65 will double, according to a report released last month.
In many cases, the person living with the illness is being cared for by a family member, but this can be overwhelming and stressful for the caregiver, the Alzheimer’s Association noted.
To address this, Kim Campbell launched a website, CareLiving, to provide support to Alzheimer’s family caregivers.
She also shared her experience with residents and family members at Raleigh's Cardinal at North Hills as a means of providing encouragement to families facing similar ethical decisions.
Caregivers often experience guilt when choosing long-term care for their loved ones, but Kim Campbell said community support was essential in living with the illness.
“I always say I didn't place my husband, or put him, in a ‘home,’” she said, according to WRAL. “Our family joined a 'memory care community.' It's my community too.”
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