Tech wristbands launched to support people with dementia

PUBLISHED: 10:32 25 September 2020 | UPDATED: 10:47 25 September 2020

New tech wristband part of an ongoing dementia safeguarding scheme to help support vulnerable elders.

New tech wristband part of an ongoing dementia safeguarding scheme to help support vulnerable elders.

Archant

A new tech wristband to help people with dementia is being launched by police and fire officers in Avon and Somerset.

The initiative, which is part of the Dementia Safeguarding Scheme, has funding for 750 wristbands, and is the collaborative work of the Senior Citizen Liaison Team, Avon and Somerset Police and Avon Fire and Rescue Service.

Essential information about the wearer, including their name and details of next of kin will be stored in the wristband using Near Field Communication (NFC) technology.

This can be accessed via the NFC app when a mobile is held nearby, without the need for physical contact, alleviating further distress.

This information can be used by emergency services, health professionals or community members to get the wearer back to safety should they be found while lost or confused.

Leader of the Dementia Safeguarding Scheme, and member of the Senior Citizen Liaison Team Charity, Sergeant Stuart King, said: “Throughout my policing carer, I’ve encountered many situations where people with dementia are lost and confused, some of which sadly ended in tragic circumstances.

“This is the latest addition to our Dementia Safeguarding Scheme, which also has a GPS tracking element, as well as the Avon and Somerset Dementia Forum which is an active Facebook group.”

The passive device is not used for tracking and contains non-personal data to ensure the safety of the wearer.

Officers from Avon Fire and Rescue Service will be visiting people who may benefit from the wristband and helping them get set up.

Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner, Sue Mountstevens, said: “The Dementia Safeguarding Scheme is a fantastic way of protecting so many vulnerable people who suffer from this horrible disease.

“I welcome any opportunity to think differently how we can work together to prevent vulnerable adults from becoming another ‘missing person’.

“We all have a duty to protect our community and I am confident that the introduction of these new wristbands will encourage local residents to look out for vulnerable people who may be at risk. I hope that these devices will provide reassurance to families and friends who may be worried about loved ones at risk.”


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