85-year-old woman found dead after wandering outside in the cold, Indiana officials say

An 85-year-old woman was found dead after officials say she wandered outside in the cold.

Emergency crews in Indiana were called around 7 a.m. Jan. 18 in Trafalgar, the Daily Journal reported.

The woman was found two blocks away in a driveway by a man and his wife, according to WTHR.

“It was just immediate action. It was, like, ‘we have to figure out what’s going on here’,” Damien Lutz told the news outlet.

Officials are awaiting a toxicology report but say foul play is not suspected and the cold temperature was a contributing factor, WXIN reported.

Officials don’t know why the woman left her home, or how long she was outside but say when they found her she was barefoot in a nightgown, WTHR reported.

It was 24 degrees that morning, Weather Underground reports.

Laura Forbes, the communication director for the Greater Indiana Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association told WXIN that wandering is a sign of dementia.

“And if it happens at this time of year in frigid temperatures, that can certainly be very dangerous,” she said.

The Alzheimer’s Society lists tips to help prevent a loved one from wandering out in the cold. Sticking to a regular routine and staying active are recommended.

“Just really meeting them where they are is so important,” Forbes told WXIN. “Having as much structure as possible, people with dementia respond really well to routines.”

The Alzheimer’s Association also lists ways to reduce risks of wandering and ways to prepare your home.

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