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Hiker with dementia wanders off without hiking partner

Report or discuss current events in the Catskill Mountains.
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Location: Acra New York

Hiker with dementia wanders off without hiking partner

Unread post by dave »

Town of Olive in Ulster County

Wilderness Search:
On July 31 at 3:30 p.m., Forest Ranger Horn overheard radio traffic on the Ulster County 911 channel about a lost hiker with early signs of dementia near Bradkin Road in the Slide Mountain Wilderness. The 73-year-old from Climax had last been seen by her husband while hiking an unmarked trail and unmaintained logging road up a drainage. The husband asked his wife to remain in at the trail while he looked for something. He was gone for approximately 30 minutes and when he returned, his wife was missing. Rangers Horn and Rusher conducted a linear search with New York State Police, New York City Department of Environmental Protection, and a search team from Shandaken. At 7:45 p.m., Rangers located the subject climbing up a slope. The Rangers provided food and water, helped the hiker back down, and turned her over to EMS for further evaluation. Resources were clear at 9:30 p.m.

As people with dementia decline, they lose their ability to do many task. They then resort to something they are capable of doing. Walking. Some walk 15-20 miles a day. In populated areas this causes many risk to the dementia patients. Many caregivers will take the dementia patient hiking on trails to put some enjoyment back into their lives, and to keep them safe. One rule for caregivers is to never ever leave them alone. Not even for a minute. They lose their ability to tell time, and wander off. If you are a caregiver, ask your county Sheriff's department for Project Lifesaver ankle bracelet. This helps SAR find them quickly. Many people would be surprised how many hikers are on the trail that have early stages of dementia.

People with FTD Dementia often get dementia in their 40's and 50's and are much more active. Bruce Willis has FTD Dementia. Those with Alzheimer's Disease are less likely to be prolific walkers and hikers. Glad this case had a good outcome.

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