BBC News

Wristbands to help find missing people with dementia

By Jasmine Ketibuah-Foley & Jonathan Holmes
Broadcast Journalist

media captionThe wristbands can be scanned with mobile phones

Wristbands which can help locate missing people with dementia have given families "peace of mind".

The bracelets, developed by emergency services and charities in the Avon area, store essential information about the wearer including their name and next of kin.

The information can be accessed by an app when a mobile is held nearby.

Tracy Plummer's grandmother has dementia and she said the wristband has given her a sense of "relief".

Avon and Somerset Police, charity Senior Citizen Liaison Team and Avon Fire and Rescue Service developed the wristband, with a manufacturing cost of £1, as part of their Dementia Safeguarding Scheme.

image copyrightAvon Fire and Rescue
image captionThe wristbands are being allocated through referrals and during fire safety visits

They use Near Field Communication (NFC) technology and the wearer's personal information can be accessed using the NFC app.

More than 700 dementia wristbands are available for free, but offers are currently restricted to residents within the Avon county.

Midsomer Norton resident Miss Plummer’s grandmother is 89 years old and suffers from vascular dementia. She now uses the wristband as a safety precaution.

Miss Plummer said: “We don't want to put her in a home and she has gone missing twice and is also deaf, so it is a real worry when she does leave the house alone.

“Knowing that she now has the wristband gives me relief and peace of mind because the worry is that she could wander far away.

“I now know she will be safe and someone can contact me to let me know where to find her if it ever happens again."

Sergeant Stuart King said calls to missing persons with dementia come with a “high cost” for emergency services and hopes the wristbands will help families find their loved ones before having to report them missing.

He said: “Whilst this isn’t a replacement for good care, this tech is cheap and accessible, so I’ve got high hopes this will make a difference.”

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Related Topics

  • Avon Fire and Rescue Service
  • Avon and Somerset Constabulary
  • Dementia

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