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What We Can Learn from Glen Campbell about Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s Care in Charlotte, NC  Taking Away Lessons from Other Families Dealing with the Disease

When American country legend Glen Campbell was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, his family rallied around him. They had been suspecting something was going on. In 2011 he went public with his diagnosis with the hopes to raise awareness about this devastating disease. Glen had told his wife Kim Woolen, “We need to let people know about this disease, we need to do something about it,” She added, “He really made himself vulnerable, because he wanted to make a difference.”

Glen Campbell last performed in public in November of 2012. His last release from his record label is titled, “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” and is a heart-breaking and beautiful ballad.

The disease has progressed now to the 6th stage, with 7th being the most severe. Campbell has brought the realities of Alzheimer’s to the forefront and shown families nation-wide they are not the only ones dealing with this disease. Statistics estimate one in nine senior Americans has this disease. This totals over 5 million people.

You can find videos of Glen Campbell singing songs and playing guitar in the early stages of his disease. One very tough video takes place after Glen can no longer communicate with words. He cannot talk or sing any more. But one of his grown children hands him a guitar and he starts to play, almost as if his fingers have a mind of their own and he has never forgotten a note. Experts say that people with Alzheimer’s will resort to their first language as the disease progresses. His family says that’s okay, because guitar was his first language.

In another family, Sarah’s mother with Alzheimer’s had been despondent and quite moody lately. Sarah didn’t know what to do. When she read somewhere that bringing back memories from the past was a good way to connect with an Alzheimer’s patient, she decided to give it a try. Her mother had always loved the big band sound, and all the big band hits from the 1940s. Sarah decided to find some of this music and record it.

When Sarah brought this music to her mom and put the headphones on and turned on the music, she saw her mom’s face light up for the first time in months. Sarah’s mom smiled and started tapping her fingers and toes to the music. Sarah couldn’t remember the last time her mother seemed to feel this good.

Families dealing with this disease can learn from the experience of others. Even though each individual may experience it in a slightly different way, it’s reassuring when you find something that works for your family. We can all learn from each other. In this case, Sarah learned that music reaches beyond the disease symptoms in her mother’s brain, and brings out a happiness that few other things can.

If you or your loved one could benefit from the help of Alzheimer’s home care in Charlotte, NC and the surrounding areas, contact the caregivers at Golden Heart Senior Care. Experience the peace of mind that comes from knowing that you’re in Caring Hands with Golden Heart! Call (704) 246-5806 for more information.


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Natalie Smith

Natalie Smith, Founder and Co-Owner of Golden Heart Senior Care of Charlotte is hands on with every detail of Golden Heart’s business. Natalie emigrated to the United States from Ukraine. Coming to this country, she did not know a word of English and her and her mother had virtually nothing. Through hard-work and determination as well as through the assistance of social organizations, Natalie learned English, educated herself and grew to be a business owner. It was while working as a caregiver and putting herself through school that Natalie came to love working for, and with, seniors. It was this passion for taking care of others (as well as her past experience where she herself was on the receiving end of help) that led Natalie to always want to open her own home care agency. She takes a tremendous amount of pride in providing quality care to the clients of Golden Heart Senior Care of Charlotte. As such, she uses her corporate experience in management to oversee the selection and hiring of caregivers for Golden Heart Senior Care of Charlotte. In addition, Natalie continuously engages with clients to ensure they are more than satisfied with the care they receive and constantly looks for ways to improve herself and her company.

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