Tags: coweta | woman | found | dementia

Coweta Woman Found: 78-year-old Dementia Patient Alive But Critical

By Morgan Chilson   |   Tuesday, 30 Jul 2013 05:49 PM

A Coweta, Ga., woman was found Tuesday after going missing this weekend. Eleanor Alexander, 78, suffers from dementia. She was alive but in critical condition when she was located, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Alexander, who lives alone, was found Tuesday afternoon after she was reported missing by her son who lives next door, the newspaper said. Family members talked to her about 9 p.m. Friday and she went missing sometime between that hour and Saturday morning. Search teams had been looking for her both on the ground and by helicopter, and a county sheriff’s officer had said they were concerned about the many ponds in the area.

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She was found in “bed clothes” in a wooded area and wasn’t alert, the officer told the AJC. She was also covered in bug bites and her body temperature was below 80 degrees. But family members reported that her temperature was up and she was more alert later in the day Tuesday.

Web Pro News reported that some of Alexander’s injuries were apparently caused by walking into a barbed wire fence.

It is not uncommon for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients to wander and go missing, according to Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. In a report titled “Lost and Found,” the organization offers tips for law enforcement on finding people who suffer from dementia.

“Every person with dementia who can walk as well as those who continue to drive are at risk of becoming lost,” the report said, estimating that 5.1 million people in the United States have Alzheimer’s Disease. The report also said that about 60 percent of people who have Alzheimer’s or dementia will wander at some point in time.

The Huffington Post reported there are approximately 125,000 search-and-rescue operations looking for dementia-related missing persons each year.

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