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Colyer To Sign Order To Create State Alzheimer's Plan

Gov. Jeff Colyer is scheduled to sign an executive order on Friday night that will lead to the development of a state dementia plan.

Kansas is the only state without a plan. Advocates have been in contact with Colyer since July about forming a task force and putting a plan together.

State plans usually include recommendations on dementia training and improving and expanding home and community-based services. They also help states prepare for the cost of providing care.

Medicaid costs alone for the 53,000 Kansans living with Alzheimer's is $420 million a year. That number is expected to grow 30 percent by 2025.

"We are the only state in the nation that doesn’t have a dementia plan in place, and we have a governor now who is a physician and he gets it,” said Doug Stark, owner of Comfort Care Homes, which cares for people living with dementia.

Stark, who lost his father to dementia last year, says creating a plan is a significant step forward in Alzheimer’s care. The governor will sign the order at Founders Crest, a Wichita home operated by Stark’s company.

The task force is expected to include industry experts, legislators, state officials and others involved in providing Alzheimer’s care.

The National Alzheimer’s Association estimates that 5.7 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s. The expected cost to provide care for Alzheimer’s patients and others suffering from dementia-related illnesses is $277 billion in 2018.

Carla Eckels is director of cultural diversity at KMUW and the host of Soulsations. Follow her on Twitter @Eckels. To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.

Copyright 2020 KMUW | NPR for Wichita. To see more, visit .

Carla Eckels is Director of Cultural Diversity for News and Engagement at KMUW. She has been an award-winning announcer and news producer for KMUW since 1996. Carla also produces and hosts the R&B and gospel show Soulsationsthat airs Sundays at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. She annually emcees Gospelfest at the Wichita River Festival and was voted Best Disc Jockey by subscribers of The Community Voice. Prior to coming to KMUW, Carla was the local host for NPR’s Morning Editionat WYSO in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and co-hosted a nationally syndicated gospel radio show in Cincinnati. Carla was also program director for KIBN, the Inspirational Black Network in Wichita, hosted the Joyful Sounds gospel show on Q92-FM and produced the number one gospel radio show on KSJM 107.9 JAMZ from 2004 to 2007.
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