Friday, June 06, 2008

Sad Lemons? Diabolical Lemonade!!

Fake bus stop keeps Alzheimer's patients from wandering off

From the

By Harry de Quetteville in Berlin

Last Updated: 11:11PM BST 03/06/2008

The idea was first tried at Benrath Senior Centre in Düsseldorf, which pitched an exact replica of a standard stop outside, with one small difference: buses do not use it.

The centre had been forced to rely on police to retrieve patients who wanted to return to their often non-existent homes and families.

Then Benrath teamed up with a local care association called the "Old Lions". They went to the Rheinbahn transport network which supplied the bus stop.

"It sounds funny but it helps," said Franz-Josef Goebel, the chairman of the "Old Lions" association.

"Our members are 84 years old on average. Their short-term memory hardly works, but the long-term memory is still active.

"They know the green and yellow bus sign and remember that waiting there means they will go home."

The result is that errant patients now wait for their trip home at the bus stop, before quickly forgetting why they were there in the first place.

"We will approach them and say that the bus is coming later and invite them in for a coffee," said Richard Neureither, Benrath's director. "Five minutes later they have completely forgotten they wanted to leave."

The idea has proved so successful that it has now been adopted by several other homes across Germany.

This is a brilliant idea. Dementia patients wandering off is a huge problem.

The fake bus stop does nothing to infringe upon the patient's rights and allows them to retain their dignity while still keeping them safe.

Talk about thinking outside the box.


Kath Lockett said...

That's brilliant. Have always liked your blog too - maybe they should employ the bus-stop technique for other escapees too - a fake gun/tattoo/smoke shop near a prison and a chocolate store for people like me who should be at work but just stepped out for a minute....

Spicy Bug said...

That is a very good idea!

Jas said...

Absolutely genius! Sometimes the simplest ideas are indeed the best ones. Go Germans!

Ken Albin said...

Excellent idea! We have several go missing each year here.