COVID rules create isolation for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients

The family of 87-year-old Roger Simpson is calling for changes
They say the understand the need for safety protocols at senior living facilities, but they would like to see some changes made
Published: Feb. 12, 2021 at 7:35 PM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The pandemic has put a huge strain on many of the personal relationships in our lives. And there’s an extra layer to the health crisis that’s especially difficult for people with Dementia or Alzheimer’s and their loved ones.

87-year-old Roger Simpson has Alzheimer’s, and lives at a local assisted-living facility. His family says he does not understand why his family is not coming to see him. They add there’s been a huge change in him since the pandemic started.

Matt Simpson and Heather Myers say their father has had both his COVID shots. They say they can take him to a doctor’s appointment, but if they take him for a drive or a visit at their homes, he has to quarantine for two weeks. They add he also has to have two negative COVID tests. Visiting with him from a window is confusing to him, so they stopped dong that.

They’re extremely grateful for the people who take care of him, and understand the need for safety protocols, but say there have to be some adjustments made to help people like their dad.

Roger owned a barber shop for 50 years, was active in the local soccer scene, and had a large circle of friends and family. Matt and Heather say the isolation is hard on their once social and active father.

“He is going to die of a broken heart. He is going to die of COVID without actually getting COVID. We have seen such a decline in him in recent months, it is heartbreaking. He thinks we are choosing to not come to see him,” says Heather.

“Our hope is that somebody in Columbus listens to these stories and is a voice for those who have no voice. This past year has been hell. My dad calls us multiple times a day wondering why we are not visiting, because he doesn’t understand the pandemic. We have followed every rule, but we are at a point where we are so frustrated,” says Matt.

When it comes to the challenges of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or Dementia, there are some great resources available through the Alzheimer’s Association of Northwest Ohio.

Get connected to, or call the local office at (419) 537-1999.

There’s also a 24/7 national helpline at (800) 272-3900.

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