We're backing the Guardian Angel initiative for people with dementia
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A new initiative that will help people with symptoms of dementia to stay safe while maintaining their independence is being backed by Essex Police, NHS CCGs, Essex County Fire and Rescue, the Alzheimer's Society and Essex's local authorities.
Guardian Angel wristbands, badges, hang tags and keyrings from the charity Dementia Buddy are encoded with the individual's first name and an emergency contact number. This can be clicked and called when scanned with a mobile phone.
The technology used is similar to that contained within a contactless credit or debit card.
The scheme allows people with dementia to maintain their independence whilst giving their loved ones the confidence that they will be quickly identified if they happen to become lost or confused.
There are 525,000 people in the UK with dementia who live at home with the assistance of family, friends, and local support services.
Outside of their home environment, people with dementia can become disoriented and may be unable to provide their home address or the contact details of a relative when asked.
This can be a great cause of anxiety to the individual and their family, and also make it incredibly difficult for the police and other public services to identify who the person is so they can return them to the safety of their home.
T/Detective Sergeant Julia Harvie is part of Essex Police’s Missing Person Prevention Team. She said the scheme has multiple benefits.
“This will give people who suffer with dementia or Alzheimer’s more confidence to go out, including those who’ve had an early diagnosis.
"Members of the public will be able to help people in their local communities, and it will also mean that the lengthy process for identifying a confused person will be reduced. The Guardian Angel device allows a quick and effective response.”