Aug 19, 2012

Two Alzheimer's Patients Wander and Die

Sixty percent of patients with Alzheimer's or a related dementia wander. More than you might think end up dead. These two died.

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

I think Carole Larking says it best,

nobody wanders until they wander. 

Ninety year old dementia patient, Nella Atkins, wandered away from home and was the victim of a "hit and run" accident in Waterbury, Connecticut. The accident occurred at 1:30 AM and it appears she was heading to her Church.

No arrests have been made in the case.

On Wednesday, a 73-year-old Alzheimer's patient was found dead next to her wheelchair after wandering away from a nursing home in Oregon.

This is turning into a "whopper" of story.

The victim, June Rice, was reported missing via a 911 call to the Oregon State Police at about 1 PM, however, the report did not reach the local Sheriff's office until 6:30 PM. The temperature was over 90 degrees that day.

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The problem it seems occurred due to local budget cuts. No one was schedule to work at the local police department until 3 PM. The Oregon State police didn't respond because they had no one available in the area. Although it appears it was their responsibility to do so.

The Alzheimer's patient, June Rice, was finally found dead around 7 PM. Not by the police, but by a man walking his dog. She was found dead next to her wheelchair.

The woman apparently had a stroke but as far as I know there has been no official cause of death.

I don't know how these stories might effect you. I can tell you, 60 percent of Alzheimer's patients wander, and many die.

We have quite a bit of information about wandering, and how to deal with wandering in our knowledge base in the Alzheimer's Reading Room.

Related Articles

Alzheimer's Wandering Why it Happens and What to do

Alzheimer's and Wandering

Tips to Prevent Wandering

My Dad Missing and Found

13 Things Every Alzheimer's Caregiver Needs to Know

Originally published in the Alzheimer's Reading Room