Independence home transformed into care center for elderly with dementia

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- Work has begun this week to transform a house into a residential care home for elderly folks with dementia. FOX 4 News first reported on the shortage of elderly care centers last month.

The house used to be a group home for mentally challenged adults.

Now, registered nurse Debbie Thomas is turning it into a care center for people with Alzheimer's Disease.

Many of the folks doing the work are volunteers. They have elderly loved ones who suffer from dementia and know first hand of the need that exists for affordable care centers.

Working families often don't have insurance or can't afford costs that start at $4,500 a month for an institutional nursing home.

"It's going to make a place for 10 more people to be able to be cared for, in a loving residential home environment which is best for them according to research from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and other universities," said Lisa Stewart, one of the volunteers.

Studies show that by 2020, more than 200,000 Missourians will need care for dementia.

Thomas and her supporters are still about $20,000 short of the estimate for completing all of the renovations. A sprinkler system required by law is the most expensive cost.

A pancake breakfast and other fundraisers continue this month. Thomas hopes to open the ten beds at the home in June.



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