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Wife, caregiver shares emotional story ahead of McLennan County Alzheimer's Expo

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Posted at 6:27 PM, Jun 19, 2024

MCLENNAN COUNTY, Texas (KXXV) — It’s a disease that’s growing across America and impacting millions of our loved ones.

25News' Bobby Poitevint shares one woman’s story of being a caregiver for her late husband who had Alzheimer’s, and upcoming resources for people that are in her shoes right now.

Cleotha Kelley said she shared 56 beautiful years with her husband before Alzheimer claimed his life.

She says that even though Alzheimer may have claimed his mind, it didn't claim his spirit within.

She shared a special and emotional moment from his final moments as her husband.

“I walked around the building of the Delaney... I had been holding his hand and when I came back, my daughter said ‘Mom, dad was reaching all over the bed looking for your hand', and I sat down beside his bed and embraced his hand again and engaged in holding his hand and he squeezed my hand, he was a strong man even when he was dying," Kelley said.

"He was still strong and he was really squeezing my hand and really really squeezing and then all of a sudden he just let go, and I couldn’t get him to renegade and I knew he was dying then."

She was his caregiver through most of his battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

She says she always looked at life with a glass half full and added — “it’s not a death sentence — it’s just a change of life.”

She’s sharing her story at next Wednesday’s McLennan County Alzheimer’s Expo.

Eduardo Berdegue with Divine Home Care Services helped start up the expo in 2022 in Clifton.

There’s a full list of programs and sessions that people can attend and learn from.

He says part of the reason for the expo is to help continue pushing past stigma.

“Wanted to make it open and say this is the Alzheimer’s Expo — we didn’t want to cover the name or dress up, this is the Alzheimer’s Expo," he said.

Also, to let caregivers know resources are available.

Kelley says having resources and learning how to help her husband, helped her through their final journey together.

“You can never have enough information — the more information you have, the better you are equipped to handle whatever is coming your way," she said.

The expo is free and will be held at the First Woodway Baptist Church.

Click here to learn more about the expo.

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