COVID-19’s impact on dementia patients

Americans suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are battling COVID-19 threats and the dangers of isolation.
7:49 | 11/26/20

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Transcript for COVID-19’s impact on dementia patients
We turn out to the devastating effects of Kobe nineteen on kids suffering from alzheimer's disease and dementia many within US nursing homes in long term care facilities each but it Kobe death told now tops 100000. According to new tally on Wall Street Journal and it is vulnerable population isolation from loved ones is an added risk UDC's Alan Lopez has this report. We met on a blind date. A blind lunch and head long court saying I would say go back and forth for years yet we knew we were we were right for each other. It was a second chance they never thought they get. Both Deanna detainees were divorced in the forties with children involved but they finally took a leap of faith and married in 2003. It was wasn't too long after that really in about 2010. That. We started noticing things. Going wrong with what's and he C a memory issues getting lost. Little things hand this just didn't seem right. After two years of back and forth doctor visits a diagnosis neither of them expected. Denise I just 56 years old had. Early onset alzheimer's. I friends this is my video blog about alzheimer's disease. And today is the day that we had to drop Denise off to a memory care facility. Dim documented the ups and day accounts for nearly a decade. Their perilous journey now one due to. Tell us that little bed maybe height your feeling about alzheimer's right now. You know if people you know. Keep asking me questions they'll probably tell me boots never boot. Early nine believes that's sort of humor that carried them through. That's how we get through this is different but just keep left and right. Should. The so much and their man. Do you think you're not. Do. When the pandemic paints silencing gold sticker teasing and millions of others. Nursing home in care facilities closed there doors. Halting in person visits to protect those at higher risk for Kolb in nineteen. Including now 64 year old Denise. We did window visits it was very very difficult. To do those because she would reach out. She would reach or hand out toward me trying to touch me. And she couldn't. A front row seats to win nightmare separated from his wife of sixteen years as he helplessly watched her waste away she. Lost about eighteen pounds in. Less than two months. She. Looked ashen gray. She pretty much stopped talking and stopped interacting. People. To mention and in especially alzheimer's disease can absolutely be affected by it being isolated it's essential to protect someone from getting the virus of course but. There are downstream effects. Listen 1% of the US lives in long term care facilities. But the accounts for about 40% of all Kobe nineteen desk in the country. We got a letter late April that the facility she was in was gonna close down due to cope that that was. The single most stressful. Two weeks of my life. Because secure we are in the middle of a pandemic. Camp. Com trying to find a facility that will take Denise. Was just excruciatingly. Difficult thing. After a relentless search deal landing on the care facility willing to welcome his. Why this is then the biggest leap of faith and lock safe. I didn't know anybody in here. I couldn't go in like I normally would. Meet with Denise every day for fear lunch. Talk to the caregivers get to know what today alma. And explain to them who Denise is. Pretty pretty okay. From window visits to standing six feet apart. Clutching her husband's cancer per one going to communicate threats no longer an option. It's hard thing you can coming. That's been the worst of Syria assistant. So tough you know I think this one out don't hold your hand some it's that's why won't you figure out how to change that so. Like a set up put on a Hazmat suit glows whatever it takes. People with dementia or not only dying from the virus. Since February deaths from dementia across America. Ticking up work thirty find thousands more than expected when compared to previous U. The decline that's happening and we we also noted there's an end increased steps not necessarily related to bed. Perhaps related to the social isolation. The Alzheimer's Association are urging state and federal lawmakers to provide rapid cooled in nineteen testing for Stafford. Residents and visitors. And we need to figure this out in the NBA and college RRE. You name it. There is already figured this out with laughter vulnerable citizens. Without. Without access to that level the state and it is really inexcusable. We had a testing. If we have that setup and we end the federal and state governments or those resources. It wouldn't have to be like and we're we're eight months in and we still don't have a plan. Are you cold for you okay man. Denise. It's a double edged sword in that the carriers can't touch them because I want them to torture I want her to have that interaction. Yet it's frustrating that I can't to caregivers can go home. Hug their spouses. Hugged their kids. Hug your kids who have been in school. Somewhere else all day. Increasing the risk of catching the virus and then come back the next day and hug. Denise hold her hand feed her. And here I am basically. Quarantining myself and my house. And and I can't. Pull my wife's. Not even with cold it testing not even when it. Gloves on note I have to stay six feet away from her I could have a stack of a thousand. Negative test results. Wear a mask and walk in there and and I still cannot. Get closer than six feet two duties are there any exceptions to that rooms there are. Or call compassionate care exceptions for end of life exceptions. It if she is nearing or anyone in the facility is nearing end of life and we we know it's there. In the end you've met through regulations you can go in and and hold their hand and be there with them at the end. Now as he once did in his forties when he met Denise he's clean onto one last chance. This time the chance to hold his wife. Before it's too late. It would be so tough to look back and say the only time in the last few months I got to touch her hand was was when she passed away. But that's a very real possibility right now unless we change something. L when Lopez ABC news Atlanta. Another heartbreaking aspect to all of the content fallout are links to Al Wynn for that story.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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