Expo For Seniors Brings Awareness to the Disease of Alzheimer’s [VIDEO]
ST. CLOUD -- The devastating disease of Alzheimer's is an issue that families have to start addressing with their loved ones.
Earlier today (Saturday) seniors and their families gathered at the River's Edge Convention Center, for the annual Expo for Seniors, to bring awareness to the disease of Alzheimer's and provide families with resources to help their loved ones.
One person that few families could relate to in the room was keynote speaker Kim Campbell. She's the wife of country music legend Glen Campbell, who has Alzheimer's.
When Campbell asked for a raise of hands, of families dealing with the disease. Christine Hoye's hand was one of many, raised up.
Hoye's husband Robert has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's for seven years. Most of her time is spent caring for him.
"It changed our life quite a bit says, Hoye. When he was diagnosed at Mayo Clinic, the doctor said to go home sell our house, business and try to downsize as much as we can. Because with this disease, you don't know what will happen and when it will happen"
After they sold their business of 30 years, Hoye Furnishings and Appliance. Hoye says they also stopped traveling as much.
Despite the hard times, one thing Robert still holds on to, is his long-term memory and ability to recognize loved ones.
"Most things that happen currently he has a hard time remembering, but the long term memory is great. He remembers things that other people wouldn't remember says, Hoye"
Co-chairs of the event Sue Christensen and Jodi Speicher say it's time this issue be talked about.
"It's very important to bring it out to the spotlight says, Speicher. For years dementia has had a stigma attached to it. People were afraid, ashamed and didn't want people to know they have it."
"The more the community knows says, Christensen the better we all are".
The Expo had 107 senior-focused vendors to help answer questions and educate families.
Several health screenings such as spinal health and balance screening, blood pressure checks, oxygen level testing, an ear health test and dementia cognitive screening were available for families to stop at.
The Expo for Seniors has been around for 14 years and they encourage seniors and their families to come out every year.