© 2022 KMUW
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Colyer To Sign Order To Create State Alzheimer's Plan

Courtesy of Comfort Care Homes
Founders Crest is one of several homes operated by Comfort Care Homes that provides Alzheimer's care. Gov. Jeff Colyer is expected to sign an executive order there creating a state plan to deal with Alzheimer's.

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.

Carla Eckels is Director of Cultural Diversity for News and Engagement at KMUW. She produces and hosts the R&B and gospel show Soulsations and brings stories of race and culture to The Range with the monthly segment In the Mix. Carla was inducted into The Kansas African American Museum's Trailblazers Hall of Fame in 2020 for her work in broadcast/journalism.