"He can play a couple licks here and there," his wife, Kim Campbell, tells PEOPLE

By Melody Chiu
Updated May 12, 2014 03:00 PM
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Credit: Kurt Markus

More than three years into his battle with Alzheimer’s, Glen Campbell can no longer do what’s been second nature for him for most of his life – tune a guitar.

“If I tune one and hand it to him he can still play, [but] not like he used to,” his wife, Kim Woolen, 55, told PEOPLE at the Open Hearts Foundation’s 4th Annual Gala in Malibu on May 10. “He can play a couple licks here and there, and he finds joy in that.”

Now living in a memory-care facility “just a few minutes” from their Nashville home, the “Rhinestone Cowboy” singer, 78, spends his days looking at pictures and chatting with Woolen, who visits him “every single day for hours.”

“It’s a very nurturing place [and] he feels secure there,” she says. “I sit with him through his meals we hug each other and cuddle. I savor every day.”

And though it’s been “absolutely heartbreaking” for the Campbell family (the couple have three children together), they do their best to stay positive.

“There’s a lot of sadness, [but] we just continue to try to make the best of every day and keep a sense of humor,” says Woolen.

Reporting by MATTHEW COLE WEISS