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Police and fire service launch wristband to help people affected by dementia

Dementia Safeguarding Wristband

A wristband with innovate technology to help people with dementia is set to be launched tomorrow (23 September).

Sergeant Stuart King and Darren French from Avon Fire & Rescue will be live on the BBC Crimewatch Roadshow, which starts at 9.15am, to talk about the new initiative, which is the latest part of the ongoing Dementia Safeguarding Scheme that helps to protect vulnerable elders.

Using Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, the wristband stores essential information about the wearer, including their name and details of next of kin. This information can be used by emergency services, health professionals or community members to get the wearer back to safety should they be found whilst lost or confused.   

The initiative is a collaboration between Avon & Somerset Police & Crime Commissioner, the Senior Citizen Liaison Team (charity), Avon & Somerset Police and Avon Fire & Rescue Service. Between them they have provided initial funding for 750 wristbands which will be distributed across the community. 

Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “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.”

Sergeant Stuart King, who leads the Dementia Safeguarding Scheme and is a member of the Senior Citizen Liaison Team Charity, said: “I’ve been involved in related schemes for around seven years. I really care about finding better ways to serve elders with dementia whilst treating them with the compassion and dignity they deserve. 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.”

“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 and we would invite the public to visit to find out more”.

Darren French, Community Fire Safety Watch Manager at Avon Fire and Rescue says; “We’ve ordered around 750 bands and will be piloting the scheme in the Bristol and Avon area. My team will be visiting to households who may benefit from a wristband, getting them set up and then working with our blue light partners to help keep them safe.”

Bristol Dementia Action Alliance (BDAA) Chairman, Tony Hall, added: “This wristband helps to protect and safeguard those vulnerable people with dementia in our society. It is a positive response to an age old problem and moves to bring about a more caring society. We at BDAA are very glad to be involved in this pilot, as our aim is to make Bristol ‘The Dementia Friendly City of the UK’”.

For more information visit Bristol Dementia Action Alliance