BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (WCCO) — Dementia is a disease we often don’t like to talk about, but it likely affects someone you know.
The brain disease that causes memory loss primarily affects people over the age of 60. The most common form is Alzheimer’s disease.
The CDC estimates that starting at age 65, the risk of developing the disease doubles every five years. By age 85, between 25 and 50 percent of people will show signs of Alzheimer’s.
One care facility in the metro specializes in dementia treatment and takes advantage of the latest tools available to help. It’s called Wealshire Bloomington.
Step inside the home, and it’s not unusual to see the residents singing. There’s a full-time musician on staff, and daily activities from morning to night.
“We obviously just want to stimulate,” said Cory Wiskow, whose family owns and operates the facility. “We want them to get involved, we want them to socialize, because there is so much there.”
All 89 people who live there have some form of dementia. But they’re not all grouped together. They’re housed in units based on the stage of dementia they’re in.
Delores celebrated her 90th birthday on Thursday, with her son Marty Moynihan by her side. Her niece, Vicki Curtis, was on a large screen TV. She was visiting from northern California, through EasyConnect HD.
That device allows the residents to see and hear their loved ones at another location, who are using a computer or a smartphone on their end.
“And now, it’s like whenever we need a Delores fix…[we] can just go on this program and I can see Delores and my cousin Marty, and life is wonderful,” Curtis said.
Moynihan, of Eden Prairie, said Delores fell four times at another facility in California. But since moving to Wealshire, she’s been doing great.
“And she’s been loving life here,” Moynihan said. “And it’s great for the family.”
He says he and his sister looked at several places in Minnesota and California before choosing Wealshire for their mother.
Tom Wiskow opened the place and another facility in Rogers after his own father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s years ago, and later died.
“When he did pass, I had this guilt feeling that maybe I should have done more,” Wiskow said. “And I took my Dad’s hand in the casket and I promised him I’d do something so that others with this devastating disease could live with pride and dignity.”
The Wiskows say they plan to build another Wealshire facility in the metro soon.
Click here to learn more about Wealshire’s services and the cost.