Woman with dementia missing from retirement village found alive two days later

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An 83-year-old grandmother, who suffers from early onset dementia, was found cold but alive in dense bushland, two days after she went missing from her retirement home in Mandurah, 72km south-southwest of Perth.

Margaret Lowden, who needs a walking frame to move about, lasted 48 hours without any food or water, with temperatures dropping to 9C at night, in thick bushland, less than 1km from her facility in the suburb of Greenfields.

A remarkable story of survival has unfolded in WA after an 83-year-old grandmother with dementia went missing, prompting a desperate search.

Wrapped in foil to keep her warm, she was stretchered to safety and comforted by the strangers who saved her life.

“She was just shivering,” SES volunteer David Fyfe said. “I don’t think at that stage she was capable of expressing herself.”

“She was certainly watching us with her eyes, my guy that was talking to her was comforting her and just being there for her.”

A large land and air search including mounted police on the ground, and a drone and helicopter took to the sky as part of the search.

WA police say there have been 104 searches for people living with dementia this year.