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The Florida Roundup
The Florida Roundup is a live, weekly call-in show with a distinct focus on the issues affecting Floridians. Each Friday at noon, listeners can engage in the conversation with journalists, newsmakers and other Floridians about change, policy and the future of our lives in the sunshine state.Join our host, WLRN’s Tom Hudson, broadcasting from Miami.

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

Kimberly Paynter

On this week's Florida Roundup, we discuss how more Floridians are becoming caregivers for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia, and the number is only expected to increase. Also, what does it mean to be an ‘Autism-Friendly’ City?

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.


  • 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.


  • 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.

Copyright 2023 WJCT News 89.9. To see more, visit WJCT News 89.9.

Bridget O'Brien produces WLRN's The Florida Roundup as well as morning newscasts. A long-time public radio geek, she feels that audio journalism can take a story beyond text and allows listeners to truly connect through the power of voice. With a background in drama, she brings a theatrical element to everything she does.