Dec 13, 2009

Man with Alzheimer's Wanders, Dies and Meanness

Here is the background.

Earlier this week, 85-year-old Eldon Foster died when he strayed away from his assisted living home in Keenesburg.
An aide who was on-hand found him a half hour later with lacerations to his head. Instead of following policy and calling 911, she took him back to his room and put him in bed. A few hours later, he died.
With me so far?
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Here is what his brother-in-law Bill Brown had to say:
He made the decision to confront the cold, knowing what the result would be, knowing that maybe it would cost him his life. But that was okay. That was okay....His quality of life was not much.
Say what? Eldon had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

Here are some of the interesting comments from people that read the story about Eldon.

ezekiel777 wrote:
this is always a tough situation. i've known several Alzheimer's folks who wandered off and died. some while living at home, others were in various facilities. it happens.

in this instance they should have called 911. not to be overly overly blunt here but nonetheless the result would have been the same...
outlawjw wrote:
Ok, I am not a health worker, but 20 minutes out in 3 degree weather with a head injury, you have a hyperthermic person with a possible concussion and you put him to bed? Outrageous!! I am shocked at the lack of care given here!
bitwranglers wrote:
Why in the world is it a policy to call 911 after finding an Alzheimer's patient wandering? Even with a small cut? Why are these expensive services demanded for trivial and resolved problems? And in this case, what possible good could they have done, with the guy already put to bed. I think the aid did the correct and most compassionate thing, and only because the poor guy died, the media gets its panties in a wad over the old "we gotta find someone to blame" syndrome.
lvltrobber wrote:
I know from past experience that many of the care givers in the US are undocumented workers who are afraid to dial 911 for any reason because they fear Immigration. Think I'm kidding? Call any home care agency and ask tointerview a couple of care givers for an elderly person in your family. During the interview, ask to see a green card and a social security card.
Here is a picture of Eldon.

Look like anyone you know? Father? Grandfather? Nice older man that lives down the street?

We have a lot of work to do folks. Starting with raising awareness.

By the way, did you email your Senator or Congressman to ask them to support legislation for Alzheimer's caregivers? I bet those people that made those comments didn't either.

Go here if you would like to respond directly to the people that made those comments I listed above.

Do the emails first.

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Bob DeMarco is the editor of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. The Alzheimer's Reading Room is the number one website on the Internet for news, advice, and insight into Alzheimer's disease. Bob has written more than 950 articles with more than 8,000 links on the Internet. Bob resides in Delray Beach, FL.
Original content Bob DeMarco, Alzheimer's Reading Room

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