After a constant juggling of shifts to keep an eye on Glen Campbell around the clock, his family made the decision to move him
into a memory care facility in Nashville.
The transition, they tell PEOPLE, was in the best interest of the “Rhinestone Cowboy” singer, who has been living with Alzheimer’s for over three years.
“There were five of us taking care of him and we were all completely exhausted,” Campbell’s fourth wife, Kim Woolen, who stars in the documentary Glen Campbell … I’ll Be Me, which follows the family as they deal with different stages of the disease, tells PEOPLE.
“No one was getting any sleep and we were just struggling every second to keep him safe – we felt like it wasn’t safe anymore.”
Although Campbell is living at the facility full-time, he is able to leave any time his support circle – including Kim, his daughter Ashley and son Shannon – take him out. Recently, they brought him back to their house for a family dinner.
However, from the moment he walks through the door, Campbell poses a threat to himself and the dangerous reality of having him home becomes obvious, his wife says.
“You have to watch him every single second. He’s up all hours of the night and wanders,” Kim says. “He’ll pick up knives and sometimes he won’t want to relinquish it.”
“[It can be dangerous] with all the household appliances and dish soap liquid and olive oil. He’ll drink anything … if you lose concentration for a second, he could hurt himself,” Ashley, who wrote the song “Remembering” for the documentary, adds.
Campbell, who moved into the facility at the end of March, has settled into his new surroundings nicely, spending his days playing games, gardening and participating in the scheduled programs.
“He’s made friends there. Everybody loves him there. It’s a beautiful setting, it’s very secure,” Kim says.
And while Campbell struggles to remember some things, he has never forgotten his love of music.
“He plays guitar there. He’s got this little guitar … he picked it up and stood up in the living area in front of some of the residents and he played a couple songs,” Kim recalls of his first day there. “Then he thanked them all for coming. Then he went over and laid down on the sofa and took a nap. It was so sweet.”
• Reporting by DEBORAH EVANS PRICE