Families, friends and carers of people living with dementia in Glasgow are being urged to sign up to a scheme which could help them be found quicker if they go missing.
People are being encouraged to provide information about their loved one’s lives which could be used to locate them if they wander off or get lost.
Those living with dementia or similar conditions can experience short term memory loss but can easily recall memories from decades before. Sometimes people reported missing are attempting to make their way to somewhere they previously spent time or enjoyed happy events.
Partners including Glasgow’s Health & Social Care Partnership, Police Scotland and Alzheimer Scotland are asking families and friends to complete a Herbert Protocol form which asks for details including places of significance to your loved one such as previous addresses or workplaces and any current or previous pastimes. A recent photograph of the person should also be attached.
The Herbert Protocol scheme originated in Norfolk and takes its name from veteran George Herbert, who lived with dementia but who sadly died in 2011,after he went missing while looking for his childhood home.
Filling in the form could speed up the search and increase the chances of someone being found safe and well.
Once complete, the form should be kept somewhere safe and easily accessible, so that it can be quickly handed to police if the person goes missing. This means the search can be focused on relevant places quickly.
Councillor Mhairi Hunter, Glasgow’s Convenor for Health & Social Care, said: “No one likes to think of a loved one with dementia going missing, but it is better to prepare in advance than trying to recall crucial information in the midst of an emergency when you’re anxious and distressed.
“Filling in the form is a simple step which could make a huge difference in the event of a crisis. The information will help the police target places which the person might naturally gravitate towards, which could be vital – especially in bad weather.
“I’d urge anyone with a friend or relative living with dementia to complete the form as soon as possible.”
Superintendent Gary I’Anson of Greater Glasgow Policing Division said: “The Herbert Protocol is a classic example of how we, as a partnership, can work together in advance to help anyone living with dementia who goes missing.
“It means we would already have meaningful information about that missing person which would ordinarily take time to gather. Speed is key to finding any missing person and the protocol saves us critical time and therefore maximises our chances of finding them safe and well.”
Find out more about the Herbert Protocol and download a copy of the form at www.glasgow.gov.uk/herbert