New Resources In Joplin For Caretakers Of Alzheimer's Patients - KOAM TV 7

New Resources In Joplin For Caretakers Of Alzheimer's Patients


New options are now available in Joplin for families taking care of a loved one with Alzheimer's Disease. And with an estimated seventy percent of individuals with Alzheimer's living at home, one family says they are thankful for the resources.  

"He used to be a great story teller, but he doesn't do that anymore," said Retha Keely, who's husband has Alzheimer's Disease. 

Keely say it was about five years ago when her husband, Kenny Keely, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. Retha, who has been married to Kenny for 55 years, says Kenny slowly became a bit more forgetful. Then a year ago, the disease got bad enough that the couple moved from their home in rural Southeast Kansas to Joplin. Retha says the move was hard for a farm boy like Kenny, but that now the couple is closer to doctor's appointments and that the new space is less acreage for Retha to take care of.

"He still has his same personality so to speak, and things that he's done all his life, he hasn't forgotten, but it's the order and procedure of doing a task he has problems with," Keely said.

With no one in Retha's family ever having the disease the transition from wife to caretaker was a tough one. Thankfully she says she moved to Joplin right around the time Home Instead in Joplin started offering monthly support groups for family's dealing with Alzheimer's Disease.

"It helps to talk to others, and not a one of us have the same problems, so it's interesting to know what might be down the road a ways," Keely said.

According to Home Instead, it is now expanding resources in Joplin, by offering workshops and giving out guides to caregivers of Alzheimer's patients. People like Retha.
"Many people want to care for their loved one, they want to take on that responsibility. And we want to help them with that responsibility, because it does change lives, we can show the support for these families," said the owner of Home Instead Joplin, Adam Bokker. 

Retha says the support group alone has helped her learn things like only giving her husband one task at a time, and learning a little patience. With about one in four senior citizens over the age of 85 suffering from the disease, according to Home Instead, Retha says it mostly just helps to have resources and a support system right here where she lives.

"I was unprepared for it, so the knowledge I get from this group is helping," said Keely.
The first Alzheimer's Disease workshop by Home Instead was offered today, but don't worry, if you missed it this time around, another workshop will take place next Tuesday. It is free to the public. 

For more information on Alzheimer's Care from Home Instead Joplin, click here. 


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