Stressful time for Suncoast caregivers and their clients because of the coronavirus pandemic

Stressful Time for Alzheimer's Patients and Caregivers

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - For the more than five million Americans living with Alzheimer’s and dementia and the more than 580,000 here in Florida, their disease doesn’t take a break. There are now challenges caregivers are facing because of coronavirus.

Deann Marasco, a Health Systems Director for the Alzheimer’s Association, tells us about where their focus is.

“In care and support for the caregiver, about how to understand some best practices and hygiene, as well as how to stay calm and nurturing that current environment they are in,” said Marasco.

Marasco offers this advice for people living with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers, especially with the stressful nature now of patients being confined to nursing homes and other assisted living facilities.

“In order to maintain health we want to practice some good hygiene,” said Marasco. “Around others, as far as being isolated in the home is really to stay with our normal routine as much as possible.”

Although it’s not Alzheimer’s, Shawn Lorraine is confronting similar issues as a caregiver to a Sarasota man who has Parkinson’s Disease. He says he’s following all the CDC guidelines, especially with keeping his hands clean and staying as close to their usual routine.

“I’m very careful, especially outside of his home, so that it protects him,” said Lorraine. “And I take that very seriously because that can impact him, when I’m outside of his home I’m maintaining social distancing.”

For anyone who needs care and support, you can call the Alzheimer’s Association Helpline at 800-272-3900 or visit

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