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A task force begins work next month on updating the Kansas Alzheimer’s Disease Plan.

A statewide plan to address anticipated growth in the number of Alzheimer’s patients was released earlier this year but was never implemented.

Courtesy of Comfort Care Homes

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.

Carla Eckels / KMUW

Advocates are pushing for Kansas lawmakers to establish a task force to develop and implement a state Alzheimer’s plan.

Kansas is the only state in the country that does not have a strategy to deal with the progressive disease.

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

Alzheimer's Association Central and Western Kansas, Facebook

It’s been three months since country music legend Glen Campbell died. He was 81 years old. His wife, Kim Campbell, will be in Mulvane on Wednesday and Thursday to talk about the effects of Alzheimer’s and supporting caregivers.

Dan Margolies / Heartland Health Monitor

Dementia is an impairment of brain functions marked by memory loss and personality changes. It affects an estimated 4 to 5 million adults in the United States annually and, as the elder population increases, is likely to have a growing impact in the future.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, affecting as many as 5 million Americans in 2013, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That number is projected to rise to 14 million by 2050.

Courtesy photo

Alzheimer's, an illness that slowly erodes memory, is the most expensive disease in America. A "Walk to End Alzheimer's" is set for Saturday in Wichita.

Breana Jones, Program Director for the Alzheimer's Association says the walk is a chance to support individuals living with this form of dementia and their families.

"There's going to be fun, games and we're going to have that two-mile walk," Jones says. "It's all to raise awareness and honor individuals that have this disease or that have had this disease and has passed away."

A free ID program designed to assist older adults and their families in case of emergency is now available in the Wichita area.

The Sheriff's Elderly/Disabled Notification Intensive Outreach Response System (S.E.N.I.O.R.S.) is a program that uses a secure database that stores important information residents provide. Members are given business-sized cards to carry and a decal to indicate membership. Sedgwick County Deputy Jaime Converse says the card contains pertinent information.

Carla Eckels / KMUW

More than 50,000 Kansans suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. Wandering, walking away from home, with no apparent direction or destination, can be a significant safety issue. Six out of 10 people with Alzheimer’s are known to wander. Last month, a man who lives in Wichita was found nearly 20 miles away in Rose Hill.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran brought the nation’s top health leader on aging to Kansas today for an overview on the latest medical research on Alzheimer’s disease.

Moran and Dr. Richard Hodes, the director of the National Institute on Aging, visited Kansas City-area laboratories focused on aging research. Their stops included tours of the University of Kansas Alzheimer’s Disease Center (ADC) and the Hoglund Brain Imaging Center.

The senator also hosted a forum on the state of Alzheimer’s Disease Research with KU faculty, students, researchers and Alzheimer’s advocates.