Kansas governor starts Alzheimer’s Disease task force

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KANSAS – Kansas Governor Laura Kelly named 13 people to the state’s Alzheimer’s Disease Task Force Friday.

Carol Jolly is a social worker in Topeka. She meets with people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and caretakers. She is one of the members on the task force. And says she has noticed as people age, the disease is always on the back of their mind.

“Anyone over the age of 50 who can’t find their car keys or forgets somebody’s name is beginning to think about whether or not they are going to ultimately end up with some form of dementia.”

Carol Jolly, Alzheimer’s Disease Task Force

The Jayhawk Area Agency on Aging helps get services to older adults in the Topeka area. Executive Director Susan Harris says the disease is brought up often.

“We get numerous phone calls a day from folks within the community that have recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or gosh, I’m have some memory issues and we think it might be and just wanting answers to questions about what can I expect, what might happen.”

Susan Harris, Jayhawk Area Agency On Aging

Harris says she is pleased that the state is focusing on the disease.

“Delve into what can Kansas do to help Kansans with these issues is very important and it needs to be a state wide effort.”

Susan Harris, Jayhawk Area Agency On Aging

And for Jolly, she’s knows there’s a lot that needs to be addressed.

“Part of it is going to be about funding, part of it is going to be about increased education, part of it is going to be about perhaps more vigorous development of community resources that help to sustain a person.”

Carol Jolly, Alzheimer’s Disease Task Force

The group is tasked with developing a strategy for the state to respond to the public health concern by 2020.

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