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Caring for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia; Autism-Friendly Cities 

Kimberly Paynter
/
WHYY

Florida is among the top three U.S. states with the highest number of people living with Alzheimer’s disease. That’s according to a study published this week in Alzheimer’s & Dementia, a journal of the Alzheimer’s Association.

That means more Floridians are becoming caregivers for loved ones with the disease or other forms of dementia. Many do so while continuing to work full time.

And the number of caregivers is only expected to increase. By the year 2025, an estimated 720,000 seniors in the state are expected to have Alzheimer’s.

We discuss the many challenges that Alzheimer patients and caregivers face and explore what options and resources are available.

Guests:

  • Stephanie Colombini, health reporter for WUSF/Health News Florida. 
  • Joe Byrnes, reporter for WMFE. 
  • Mary Daniel, advocate for senior care and the founder of Caregivers for Compromise. 

What does it mean to be an ‘Autism-Friendly’ City? 

There’s a growing number of Autism-Friendly Cities in Florida.

As the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports, Cooper City — a municipality in Broward County — was recently designated as Autism Friendly. The city did so through a partnership with the University of Miami and Nova Southeastern University Center for Autism and Related Disabilities.

The city joins a handful of others across the state to earn the designation. There’s also a growing number of businesses striving to create more inclusive spaces for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families.

We talk about the changes the city made, the effect it’s had so far and what’s coming next.

Guests:

  • Commissioner Jeremy Katzman, Cooper City, District 1.
  • Stacie Weiss, director of Cooper City Parks and Recreation.
  • Luis Grana, director of the NSU Satellite office of UM-NSU CARD.
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Bridget O’Brien is an award-winning, versatile audio producer with more than eight years of experience in radio, audience engagement and storytelling across a diverse range of outlets. You can reach Bridget at bobrien@wjct.org.