Woman's death in West Seattle a sad reminder for caretakers

WEST SEATTLE -- Seventy-four-year-old Jacqueline Dupras lead an active life, volunteering for causes she believed in, staying involved in politics and singing in the choir. But her husband Ed says in the last year or so, her memory would come and go.

“There were little things like losing the car here and there when she parked and came out of the church.  Goes to the right and down the hill, then she calls and says she’s lost it,” said Ed Dupras, Jacqueline's husband.

Dupras says it had been months since his wife Jacqueline had gotten lost but on September 16th she went out for a walk and never made it back to her West Seattle home.

“You come in and yell. Go down and check, nope. She’s not doing laundry. She’s not on her computer. So finally about seven, we called and had the police come over. After that everyone kept looking for her," Dupras said.

Sadly, Jacqueline was found dead two weeks later near someone’s backyard on 60th in Alki Beach. The Alzheimer’s Association says six out of ten people with Alzheimer’s Disease will wander and get lost. They say caretakers should keep an updated photo and a list of their medications.

“We also recommend that if somebody does wander, not to search for too long. Maybe about 15 minutes before calling the police know it’s a vulnerable adult with Alzheimer’s Disease who’s walked away and is now at risk,” said  Erica Farrell, Clinical Manager with Washington State Alzheimer’s Association.

In another case, 80-year-old Hideko Lee was in her new home for only a week when she was reported missing on Sunday, but luckily, Seattle Police say she was found safe the same day.

The Alzheimer’s Association says even without an official diagnosis, families can reach out to them to get information and assistance that may keep their loved ones alive and safe.

For more information about signs of dementia and the Alzheimer’s Association, go to https://www.alz.org/.