TIM DREW: Scheme helps police find missing dementia sufferers

Tim Drew
Tim Drew

Statistics provided by the Alzheimer’s Society suggest that there are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, with numbers set to rise to more than one million by 2025 and two million by 2051.

Those affected – particularly the elderly – are among those most at risk of going missing.

As people age, mental and physical health issues can force them to become more isolated from family and friends, which can put the elderly at a greater risk of becoming a missing person.

One recent initiative devised to counter this risk is the Herbert Protocol, a national scheme which encourages family, friends and carers to put together useful information which can then be used if a person with dementia goes missing.

The protocol consists of a form which is kept at home, or in a safe place, describing the vulnerable person’s weekly habits, hobbies, medical requirements and favourite places (a recent photograph with a good likeness is strongly recommended).

Should he or she go missing, this essential information can be immediately passed to the police without having to spend time collating it during what will inevitably be a stressful period.

The police only need the form at the point the person is reported missing (you must tell the police operator that you have a Herbert Protocol form at the time). There is no need to pass it to them before then.

A copy of the Herbert Protocol form can be downloaded from the Metropolitan Police website.

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• Worthing Neighbourhood Watch will again be providing security bike marking at their next town centre event in Montague Place, between 10am to 4pm next Saturday, July 29 (please bring proof of ID such as a passport or driving licence).

• The Goring Neighbourhood Panel will meet on Wednesday, August 2, in the Committee Room of the Worthing Leisure Centre, Shaftesbury Avenue, at 7pm.

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