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Dementia Patients Vulnerable to Heat

Filed by Michael Cross in Feature, Local News, News.
August 4, 2011

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The State Medical Examiner is increasing the death toll from the heat to 15 Oklahomans while still investigating ten others.

Nine of those were over the age of 65.

Health officials are urging caution with the elderly especially Alzheimer’ and Dementia patients like those in Oklahoma City’s Cypress Springs Memory Support center.

Resident Services Director Debi Sims says a person with dementia or Alzheimer’s who wonders away from safety would be very vulnerable.

“I think it would be a matter of minutes, depends on how hydrated they are and their strength, how long it would take for them to succumb to this kind of weather.”

Sims says if you do lose a loved one with dementia; notify the authorities immediately with a description and photo so a Silver Alert can be issued.

She says it’s also a good idea to notify your neighbors that you have a family member with some kind of dementia.

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