Sense of Community

Our ongoing, 10-part Community Journalism series airs quarterly

From poverty concerns to major policy decisions, this series dives beyond the headlines to provide in-depth coverage of issues facing people and organizations in the Ozarks. KSMU's team of reporters come together to produce 10 stories, four times a year. Past espisodes of our Sense of Community series are available below.

Used with permission / KSMU

This week, we bring you our Sense of Community series, Conversations on Race and Racism.  These conversations feature first-person perspectives, memories, and opinions of people in our community whose lives have been impacted by race and racism.   

In this segment, we listen in on a conversation between cousins Mike Elmore and Blake Wilder, who grew up together.  Elmore is an Army veteran, federal loan officer and Jiu-Jitsu teacher in West Plains, Missouri; Wilder is the author of "Random Bars: Poetry By An Original B-Boy" and lives in Las Vegas.

KSMU

This week, we bring you our Sense of Community series, Conversations on Race and Racism.  These conversations feature first-person perspectives, memories, and opinions of people in our community whose lives have been impacted by race and racism.   You can hear the audio below.

In this segment of our series, we hear from a young couple in Springfield: Christina Harvey and Skyler Smith.

Hear Part 1 and Part 2 of their interview below:

Crista Hogan and Abe McGull

This week, we bring you our Sense of Community series, Conversations on Race and Racism.  These conversations feature first-person perspectives, memories, and opinions of people in our community whose lives have been impacted by race and racism.   You can hear the audio below.

Crista:  My name is Crista Hogan, I live in Springfield. I am white, and I am the wife to the person I am interviewing.

Abe:  My name is Abe McGull. I live in Springfield, and I am Black, and my wife is interviewing me about race.

Randy Stewart

This week, we bring you our Sense of Community series, Conversations on Race and Racism.  These conversations feature first-person perspectives, memories, and opinions of people in our community whose lives have been impacted by race and racism.   You can hear the audio below.

This conversation was between two close friends, Clarence Brewer and John Tepiew, both Springfield residents and both people of color.                                                             

Photo provided

This week, we bring you our Sense of Community series, Conversations on Race and Racism.  These conversations feature first-person perspectives, memories, and opinions of people in our community whose lives have been impacted by race and racism.   You can hear the audio below.

In this part of our series, we listen to husband and wife, Johnathann and Grace Byrd of Springfield.

You can hear Part 1 and Part 2 of their conversation below.

Pixabay / Used with permission

  A lot of doctors know from the beginning of their training what they want to focus on. For Dr. Curtis Schreiber, though, it was different. He trained in neurology at the Mayo Clinic, and he does practice as a general neurologist. When he started his practice, he found that taking care of people and families with cognitive disorders, like Alzheimer’s Disease, was really important.

Rural Patients With Dementia Face Unique Challenges

Jun 5, 2020
Flickr via Creative Commons

For this segment of our series, we’re taking you on the road to learn about the unique challenges facing our rural neighbors with dementia.

I pulled up to the senior center in Ava, Missouri, in Douglas County, and stepped inside.  Five men were playing pool. This was in early March, about a week before the new coronavirus swept through the Midwest.  

Pixabay / Used with permission

 

For this segment in our Sense of Community series, Dementia in the Ozarks, we’re looking at the shortage of geriatricians—and what that means for the aging population here in the Ozarks.

As Americans get older, they require more care from professionals to help manage medical issues, including dementia.  A geriatrician is a doctor who specializes in treating the health problems of elderly patients. 

In Missouri, the number of doctors trained to treat these patients is not growing at the same rate as the population of older adults.

ABA / The American Bar Association

The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that this year alone, Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias will cost the United States $305 billion dollars. Those costs are primarily in health care, and they are projected to climb.

But there can be legal expenses, too. 

If there’s one thing experts agree on, it’s that it’s best to be prepared and know what’s available in your region.

So in this segment of our Sense of Community series, Dementia in the Ozarks, we’re looking at legal resources for lower-income and elderly residents with dementia.

Michele Skalicky

When a person becomes a caregiver for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, they face new challenges in their lives—and some even find new joys.  And having others with similar experiences they can talk to can make a big difference.

That’s where Alzheimer’s support groups come in.  Since stay-at-home orders were declared in March, support groups offered by the Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Missouri are meeting via virtual platforms or telephone.

BournemouthBC / Flickr

  

Willard resident, Shirley Fouraker, has been married to her husband, Bob, for nearly 60 years.  And last July, he was diagnosed with moderate dementia/Alzheimer’s.  She talked about her role as caregiver earlier this year.

“At the time it wasn’t that bad, but this last month it progressed really, really fast.  In fact, I went today to put his name on a waiting list at a nursing home,” said Fouraker.

Photo credit: www.digitalcornbread.com

Mark Applegate works for the local SeniorAge Area Agency on Aging.  He writes a blog called "Digital Cornbread," which just passed its one-year anniversary online back in March, when we first started working on these KSMU "Sense of Community" stories.

In it, he chronicles the journey he, his sister, Pam Lavin, their stepfather, John Alexander, and their mother, Brenda, have taken since Brenda went into a nursing home in Republic because of advancing Alzheimer's Disease.

Photo by Steve Pearcy www.pearcyphoto.com

In March, during one of the Alzheimer's Association's classes on Living with Memory Loss presented at The Library Center in Springfield, Deb Bryer from the  Alzheimer's Association St. Louis Chapter got the crowd in a jovial mood.

"I'm going to ask a question:   if you can answer 'yes' to the question, you get a 'kiss.'" As the attendees started laughing, she was quick to add, "It's a CHOCOLATE kiss! We're keeping it clean in here!"   

Public domain photo / Used with permission

Medical marijuana in Missouri was legalized in 2018 and medical marijuana cards have been approved for thousands of Missourians.  

Now, some Missourians wonder whether that could help patients with dementia, including Alzheimer's Disease, particularly people who experience agitation and anxiety as the disease progresses.  

Dementia is an umbrella term for a variety of conditions involving memory loss. The stress from these changes can make a dementia patient feel agitated, anxious, and in some cases angry.

Horia Varlan / flickr.com

Dementia, by definition according to the National Institutes of Health, is the loss of thinking, remembering, and reasoning to the point that it interferes with a person’s daily activities.  Some types of dementia include Alzheimer’s Disease, Lewy Body Dementia, and vascular dementia.  

All this week, at 7:45 AM and 4:44 PM, our Sense of Community series, Dementia in the Ozarks, is diving into this topic from a local perspective.

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