VNA Health and Emmy Award-winning actress Jane Seymour welcomed hundreds of participants in 150 cars to the eighth annual “PHorum: Perspectives in Health Care” held recently at the West Wind Drive-In in Goleta.
The PHorum is part of VNA Health’s “Give Well, Live Well 2021 Campaign” that brings awareness, education, information and financial resources to help VNA Health better care for the community.
The inspirational evening presented the documentary film “I’ll Be Me,” about Glen Campbell — Oscar nominee, Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and Country Music Hall of Fame member — and his personal journey with Alzheimer’s disease as he embarked on his nationwide “Goodbye Tour.” He publicly announced his Alzheimer’s diagnosis in 2011.
Seymour was executive producer and James Keach directed the award-winning “I’ll Be Me” documentary.
Kicking off the evening was an in-person appearance by Nashville-based Kim Campbell, who was married to country/pop star Glen Campbell for 34 years until his passing in August 2017. She helped her husband overcome his addictions early in their relationship, and they later raised three children, who are all accomplished singers, songwriters and musicians.
“After we battled alcoholism and drug addiction, Glen got Alzheimer’s,” she told Noozhawk. “It was hard to see the disease progress and to see him struggle. It was so miraculous to get him on stage, though, and he could perform singing and playing instruments. Then, back in the hotel and in everyday life, he couldn’t remember basic things, like when to shower, etc. Despite everything, we had a lot of fun.
“The five-week Goodbye Tour turned into 151 concerts held around the country over two years. Our children were right there on stage with him. Cal, who now drums with the popular group Beck and also plays keyboard and guitar, daughter Ashley, who is a master at banjo, guitar and keyboard, and singer-songwriter Shannon, who all traveled and performed with their father during the tour. It was a wonderful experience for our family.”
Event panelist and CareLiving founder Kim Campbell, who was married to music legend Glen Campbell for 35 years until his death related to Alzheimer’s disease in 2017. (Rochelle Rose / Noozhawk photo)
Determined to honor her late husband by continuing his quest to educate people about Alzheimer’s disease and the role of caregivers, Campbell has made it her mission to improve the quality of life for people with dementia and their caregivers. In 2016, she launched CareLiving, a lifestyle guide and social movement designed to support and advocate for caregivers, and to encourage them to care for themselves while caring for others.
Joining Campbell and Seymour at the post-documentary panel were Dr. Ken Kosik, an internationally renowned Alzheimer’s disease researcher and principal investigator of the Kosik Neurobiology Lab at UCSB, and Dr. Michael Bordofsky, medical director for VNA Health for more than 25 years.
“The unfortunate reality is that people with Alzheimer’s and other kinds of dementia have become the largest group of patients we care for at VNA Health,” Bordofsky said. “According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 6 million Americans have Alzheimer’s, and that is expected to more than double to 13 million by 2050.”
Glen and Kim Campbell (Courtesy photo)
Kosik has authored “Outsmarting Alzheimer’s: What You Can Do to Reduce Your Risk,” an easy-to-follow, research-based guide to help reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and includes 80 lifestyle prescriptions in six key areas with the most scientific evidence for protecting brain health.
Campbell recently released her new book, “Gentle on My Mind,” the story of her roller-coaster, 34-year marriage.
For more than 112 years, VNA Health has cared for Santa Barbara County and surrounding communities with comprehensive in-home health and hospice services. The Give Well, Live Well 2021 Campaign helps to support its charitable services and community care programs that include the Loan Closet, Serenity House Charity Care, Telehealth Care, Palliative Care, Music Therapy and Pet Therapy, which are solely funded by community financial support. Click here for more information about VNA Health.
— Noozhawk contributing writer Rochelle Rose can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkSociety, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.
Sena Woodall, VNA Health’s director of hospice, with panelist and UCSB professor Ken Kosik, Ph.D. (Rochelle Rose / Noozhawk photo)