Brutal cold presents danger for people with dementia

By Sydney Benter

Published 01/22 2014 12:04AM

Updated 01/22 2014 12:22AM

With single-digit temperatures hovering around the Wabash Valley, there's warning to keep an eye on friends or family with dementia.

The Alzheimer's Association of Greater Indiana says 6 in 10 people with the disease wander. That can be especially dangerous in the cold.

The group says you can prevent wandering by using motion detectors, window alarms and childproof door knobs. Officials encourage you to camouflage doors by painting them the same colors as the walls or by covering them with screens or curtains.

The Alzheimer's Association says to consider having the person with dementia carry or wear an electronic tracking GPS device. The organization says to keep a recent, close-up photo and medication information for the person on hand.

Officials advise that if a person does wander, only search the immediate area for 15 minutes before calling 911. They also say to file a report with MedicAlert+ Alzheimer's Association Safe Return at 800-625-3780.

For more information, visit the Alzheimer Association's website.

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