Alzheimer's patient found dead in pool

Wednesday, June 25th 2008, 10:44 am
By: News 9


An 86-year-old man suffering from Alzheimer's was found dead in a pool at 2810 Dorchester Drive Wednesday morning, police said.

According to his family, John Dorsey suffered from a condition called "Sundown Syndrome," which is a symptom of Alzheimer's. Todd Pritchard lives at the Dorchester Apartments and was out walking his dog when he spotted the body of a man floating in the pool.

"I've been here six years and this is the first accident we've had at all," Pritchard said. "When we checked it last night, he wasn't there, so it happened overnight sometime."

Dr. Germaine Odenheimer is a geriatrician with the Veteran's Affair's hospital.

"Usually, in the late afternoon or early evening, it's not unusual for them to become more confused," Odenheimer said. "It's been described as happening as the sun goes down so that's why they call it 'sundowners'."

Odenheimer said "sundowners" isn't widely accepted in the medical community, but there is evidence that it does happen.

"We know that in nursing homes and hospitals, that's about change of shift time and it may be the chaos that brings it on," Odenheimer said.

Dorsey was a World War II veteran, a POW for three years and also received a purple heart.