Alzheimers and Dementia Information
Whilst Alzheimer's disease is just one type of dementia it is thought to be affecting just under 1million people in the UK.
All dementias are progressive neurological diseases. The disease affects multiple brain functions, usually but not exclusevly including memory.
The exact cause of Alzheimer's disease is not yet known though certain factors may increase the risk of Alzheimers: age, family history, head injuries of a severe nature and lifestyle conditions.
Dementia - A Real Life Story
With an average January temperature of just 3 degrees Dundee town centre is not the place you would expect to come across an elderly lady wearing nothing but her night dress especially at 02:30 on a Sunday morning.
So when PC Sam Fletcher and his colleague PC Davina Dixon spotted Georgia looking worried and upset, they knew something wasn’t right. Sam pulled over the Police patrol vehicle just ahead of her.
Approaching Georgia whilst caringly asking if everything was alright, Davina nodded to Sam to let him know that she would make the approach; a woman’s sensitivity might well be needed. Sam knew what Davina meant. After all, they had been partners for over three years now.
Georgia appeared very pale, her lips almost blue and was shivering. Her reply was slow: “I’ve nowhere to go. I don’t know what I should do. It’s all been such a terrible mess since the fire.”
Davina’s first objective was to get Georgia out of the cold and into the Police car where it was warm. She gently placed her hand on Georgia’s shoulder and held out her other arm wide and in the direction of the patrol car. “Common love” Davina said comfortingly “Let’s get you warm. How about a nice hot cup of tea?”
Georgia stood looking empty. She lowered her gaze to the ground, raised her tired old hands to her face and began to sob. “If Ernest was still here, he would know what to do for us.”
Davina silently mouthed the word “BLANKET” to Sam who immediately made for the hatchback of the car. “Oh dear I’m really sorry. Was Ernest your husband love? What’s your name?”
Davina had already spotted the ball-chain necklace around Georgia’s neck. Though if there was a pendant on it then it was being obscured by her night dress. Sam returned with the blanket within seconds and handed it to Davina.
“What’s your name my love?” Davina asked. With her head still lowered she replied: “My name is Georgia McManus. My husband was Ernest McManus… Did you know him? He was a Military Police Officer in Kirkaldy?” Georgia looked up at the pair with tears welled in her blue eyes and wet tracks down her face.
“No, sorry I didn’t know your Ernest.” Davina replied kindly “But Georgia, we really do need to get you warm or you’ll catch a death of cold. Here we go Georgia. The blanket will keep the chill off you.” Davina paused a moment. “Oh, that’s a nice necklace you have Georgia. May I look at it?”
“Yes.” Georgia replied “But please don’t remove it will you? My daughter says it’s to keep me safe.”
Lifting the necklace revealed the emergency ID tag containing the 12 digit unique ID that would provide access to vital information about Georgia. The information confirmed Sam and Davina’s suspicions that her confusion was dementia related and answered all their questions about how they could serve her in the most dignified and effective manner.
Georgia had been diagnosed with dementia in 2014. This had not been the first episode where she had become very confused and had left the family home alone, though it had not happened at night before.
Accessing Georgia’s emergency ID profile from Sam’s personal smartphone allowed the Police Constables to call the family ahead of the 20 minute car ride to Georgia’s home where she lived with her daughter, son-in-law and teenage grandchildren.
“You went for a fair old walk there Georgia my love.”
“Yes.” Came Georgia’s reply “I wanted to get as far away from the flames as possible.”
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