ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death, in the United States.
There is no cure for it yet, but organizations and facilities heavily fundraise to find one.
Abilene’s only continuous care retirement community, Wisteria Place, is on that list. Each year, the facility hosts an event to bring awareness to Alzheimer’s and dementia.
“It’s hard to come back, but they were so wonderful,” Doylene Moore expressed.
Wisteria Place Retirement Living has a very special place in her heart.
“You don’t find that many other places, you know. There’s so much here that you wouldn’t find anywhere else. We called around,” Moore said. “The therapist, everybody. The people in the lunchroom, they were awesome.”
Mrs. Moore’s husband, Skeet Moore, who had dementia was a resident at the facility for about three months.
“He’s never been treated anything besides an angel. Everybody, just absolutely loved him. You couldn’t ask for better care than he got right here,” Moore said.
On March 4, 2019, Mrs. Moore said goodbye to her husband of 62 years.
“The entire time that he was here, the morning he passed away, you would have thought all of those people were his relatives. It was like five CNA’s in there,” Moore said. “It’s unforgettable that somebody could have that much influence on anybody and apparently, he did, and those girls loved him. Whatever he wanted he got.”
As she remembers how well he was treated, it helps her find solace. She recalls a time the nurses figured out a way to make him eat his vegetables!
“Like, broccoli. He did not care for broccoli, he did not care for carrots, and Stacy had told him, ‘You’ve got to have those. Those are vegetables, you need them’. So, she smashed them up, mixed them in with his smashed potatoes, and he ate them,” Moore joked. “He thought he had to have mashed potatoes everyday, and she told him one day, ‘You know, if you have mashed potatoes you’re going to have something in them’. He said as long as it wasn’t dirt it was fine.”
Wisteria Place provides various types of cares to fit the needs of their residents.
“If they go into the hospital because they have fallen, they broken a leg, broken a hip, our job is to help get them rehabilitation, whether that’s with physical therapy, occupational therapy or speech therapy, and then nursing care, and then try to transition them back into the community, as quickly and safely but possible,” Wisteria Place Retirement Living, administrator, Keith Carroll said.
Many are hesitant when walking through their doors.
“There is always a bit of an adjustment period when someone initially comes in because it’s incredibly difficult to give up your long-term home. You’ve been living in the same home for 50 years. Even though you might be there alone, or have a lot of interactions, it’s still home,” Wisteria Place Assisted Living, executive director, Jonathan Burton explained.
However, it is only a matter of time before it feels like home for the patients or residents.
“We try to treat each of our patients or our residents, not as a patient or resident, but as just a member of our family as they come in,” Carroll said. “I see it everyday. We probably work with hundreds of families a year and hundreds of patients a year. Many of them go back out into the community, and kind of resume their life as if Wisteria is kind of a distant memory.” Carroll continued to explain, “We have some people that come in from a skilled state, maybe their doctor or their family or even the patient themselves, just kind of understand that they can’t go back to where they’re at previously without help. So, they may stay and they may be there. Some people are there for maybe five, ten plus years, and then maybe we have some people there for a couple years, and then some people that are there for a couple months.”
This gives peace of mind to families like Mrs. Moore.
“They were wonderful at his service, and I don’t think you can ask for more,” Moore said. “We would do it again. We would do it again.”
The event will take place from 8 a.m. to noon Early registration is $20 and $25 at the door. Admission is free. All of the proceeds will go to the Alzheimer’s Association.