Group trying to keep elderly safe during deadly cold temps

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ST.LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- As the next wave of bitter cold makes its way through the St. Louis area, the impact can be harsh, especially for the elderly.

Tuesday, Roxie Simpson, 83, died from hypothermia and suffered from dementia. The Belleville woman fell and was found covered in snow.

It's believed she became confused while out in the cold. She lived alone near family members, but by the time Simpson was found it was too late.

Stacy Tew-Lovasz with the St. Louis Alzheimer's Association says 1 in 7 with the disease live alone and are in desperate need of help. Simpson's body was found 10 blocks away from her home.

"We have this vision of this elderly person being cared for and living in someone's home but they are isolated and home alone. Look for things that disrupt their daily lives. Look for those who have become reclusive, their social habits have changed. Check to see if behaviors have changed, if their look and appearance has changed," said Tew-Lovasz.

Right now there are 100,000 people in Missouri with Alzeheimer's disease. This number ia expected to triple by 2030.

"The African-American population is two times more likely to be affected and Latinos are one and a half times more likely. Those living with Alzheimer's in extreme conditions, they may not be able to make decisions and choices on how to keep themselves warm. This is an important time for us to lift this up and raise awareness in the community," she explained.

Alzheimer`s information....
Assistance number for 24-hour help..... 1-800-272-3900
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