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Tampa family struggles with social distancing from father with Alzheimer’s

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Everyone is feeling the effects of the coronavirus pandemic in one way or another. Many of us can’t see family because of social distancing or safer-at-home orders, and for those who have loved ones diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, this is truly a trying time.

“I wonder what he’s thinking with none of us there because he quit talking a long time ago so we can’t really talk to him,” said Ellyne Myers.

Her husband, Rick, is in an ALF in Tampa, and it’s been hard not being able to continue with daily visits.

“I showed up a couple weeks ago for a visit and they highly advised against it, and it was really difficult to make the decision to leave the facility and not visit my dad,” said Rick’s daughter, Alissa Myers.

Rick’s two daughters and wife can no longer visit him and it’s not easy on any of them. They’re worried not only about him and what he must be thinking but also about his caretakers who are trying to stay healthy.

Despite the difficult time, they’ve found a way to still have quality time and even dance parties through FaceTime.

“When we dance with him, he lifts his arms up a lot and it’s good exercise for him, and it’s good peace of mind for us that mentally, he’s being stimulated,” said Rick’s other daughter, Stephanie.

Ellyne, Alissa and Stephanie want Rick’s caretakers to know how much they appreciate them for taking care of Rick until they can see him in person again.

This is a tough situation for so many people. The Florida Gulf Coast Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association wants you to know there are support groups readily available. Click here for more.

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