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New Facility to Treat NM Veterans With Alzheimer's

More skilled-nursing care in New Mexico for veterans.Courtesy: New Mexico Department of Health
More skilled-nursing care in New Mexico for veterans.Courtesy: New Mexico Department of Health
July 27, 2015

TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES, N.M. – A multi-million-dollar facility being built at the New Mexico State Veterans' Home in Truth or Consequences will treat veterans from across the state living with Alzheimer's disease.

Lori Montgomery, administrator at the veterans' home, says construction is about to begin on the$ 23 million, 59-bed facility.

She says treating an Alzheimer's patient can be a years-long endeavor.

"It's a very bad disease,” she stresses. “Some residents will digress very rapidly. Some residents I've had with me for years. I've been at the facility 23 years and I have some residents that have been here as long as I have."

Montgomery says the facility is funded through a $15 million grant from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which took about a decade to get.

She adds that the state is providing the balance of the project funding. The facility is expected open in early 2017.

Montgomery says patients requiring skilled nursing therapy, following knee replacement and other types of surgery, also will be treated at the new facility.

"Maybe someone that is rehabbing from a particular surgery, maybe they need rehabilitation services like occupational therapy or physical therapy," she says.

According to the Department of Health, an estimated 34,000 New Mexicans are living with Alzheimer's disease, which consistently ranks as one of the top 10 leading causes of death in the state.

Lori Abbott/Troy Wilde, Public News Service - NM