Dementia safeguarding tags rolled out in the Dover district

Dementia safeguarding tags rolled out in the Dover district

A new safeguarding tool is being trialled in the Dover district to help support people living with dementia. 

Bright yellow safeguarding tags bearing the Alzheimer's Society forget-me-not symbol are being given to people living with dementia to carry with them when they are out on their own. 

Family members can input their details onto the tag’s QR code so when scanned by a mobile phone, they can be contacted. This means if a person with dementia becomes confused or disorientated, the next of kin can be called immediately. 

Dover District Council is working with Dementia & Me, Age Concern Sandwich, Age UK South Kent Coast and the Riverside Centre Dover, with the support of Avon and Somerset Police, to roll out the scheme and raise awareness of the tags, which can be put on a lanyard, keys or walking aid. 

Shops, cafes and businesses in the district are supporting the initiative and members of the public are being encouraged to familiarise themselves with the yellow tags so if they see someone with a tag who is looking confused, they will know what to do. 

Five hundred are being given out to people living with dementia or their loved ones across the district through Age Concern, Age UK and the Riverside Centre. They are part of a pack which includes a simple step-by-step guide on how to input a next of kin's details. 

The pack also includes a ‘Herbert Protocol’ document which can be filled in with important personal details, including medication, a photo and details of the past, such as former home addresses.  

This can then be passed to police if a person goes missing and saves valuable time, allowing officers to get ahead in the search. 

Cllr Charlotte Zosseder, cabinet member for community, said: “We are always looking at new ways in which we can help vulnerable people stay safe and this new tool will offer some reassurance to people living with dementia. 

“We initially distributed 60 tags and have already received positive feedback. The scheme helps people living with dementia maintain their independence while offering peace of mind to them and their families. 

“It is important people start to recognise these safeguarding tags so if they see someone with one who is looking disorientated, they know what to do.  

“It really is as simple as scanning the tag with your phone, but the positive outcome for that person and their families is immeasurable.” 

Laura Burwinkel, Dementia & Me co-ordinator for the Dover area, said: “The dementia tag encourages people living with dementia to be out and about knowing that their community can help them, should they need support.  

“The dementia tag itself, as well as the lanyard, gives obvious indication of the person's condition. This makes it easy for people to spot. 

“The sad reality is lots of clients were scared to go out and so they stayed inside most of the day, which led to social isolation, lack of exercise and a decrease in wellbeing.   

“Being able to go out safely means a lot to them and their families. It means they will feel more included and engaged with their community as well as better in themselves.” 

Notes to editors 

Caption: (l-r) Martin Dadd, KCC community warden for Deal and rural; Debbie Beer, Dementia & Me organiser; Louise Woodward, chief officer at the Riverside Centre Dover; Alison Beaumont, KCC community warden for Dover area; Sarah Horan, DDC community development officer; and Cllr Charlotte Zosseder, DDC cabinet member for community.

The dementia safeguarding tags are distributed through Age Concern Sandwich, Age UK South Kent Coast and the Riverside Centre Dover to people known to be living with dementia or in the early stages. 

Funding was made available through the Dover District Community Safety Partnership which supports the partnership plan in working towards its priorities, namely that of Safeguarding (Adults, Young People and Children) including supporting Mental Health and Wellbeing. 

There are an estimated 1,700 people aged 65 and over living with dementia in the Dover district and figures predict this will increase by around 70% to 3,000 people by 2030. 

The Herbert Protocol is a national scheme encouraging carers, family and friends to provide useful information in a document, which can then be used in the event of a vulnerable person going missing. It is named after war veteran George Herbert who had dementia and sadly died when he went missing on his way to his childhood home.

For more information on dementia awareness go to  

Dementia safeguarding tags rolled out in the Dover district (1)


Posted on 22 March 2024

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